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Fire Code Charges Pending

According to the Woodstock Fire Department, more charges are pending after Tuesday's fire on Ingersoll Ave.

WOODSTOCK - More charges are in the works after the recent fire on Ingersoll Ave.

Members of Woodstock Police and the Woodstock Fire Department were called out to 520 Ingersoll Ave just after 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. They noticed smoke coming out of the basement upon arrival.

Firefighters were able to get the flames under control and no injuries were reported.

An investigation found smoke alarms that were not properly maintained or operating in the home and in the neighbour's place.

Public Information Coordinator Lisa Woods says this is a serious issue that needs to be addressed.

"We are finding a trend in our community where the smoke alarms are not being maintained and not being replaced every 10 years."

All smoke alarms must be 10 years old or younger and on all levels of the home. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms also have to be outside of all the sleeping areas.

Woods says you need to think twice before replacing you alarms.

"If you have hardwired smoke alarms they must be replaced with hardwired smoke alarms. Battery operated can be replaced with battery operated."

You could face a minimum fine of $360 if you have a smoke alarm that is not working properly (ex: dead battery.) It's an additional $360 if it's not properly maintained (ex: older than 10 years) and another $360 if you replaced it with the wrong model.

Woods says all the charges could add up in the end.

"We do have the ability to charge up to $50,000 under the Ontario Fire Code, that's not what we're interested in doing. We want to get the message through, we want people to spread the word, know that this could happen to them and they need to be protected."

In rental situations, it is a landlord's responsibility to make sure all alarms are up to date in the home. However, it is also the tenant's responsibility to notify the landlord if something is not working properly.

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