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'No working smoke alarms': Charges pending after dog dies in overnight fire in London, Ont.

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Multiple people are facing charges after an overnight fire in London, Ont. which killed one dog, displaced eight people, and eight other dogs.

Around 2:30 a.m. Sunday, London fire crews were called to a basement fire at 191 Boullee St.

“It’s a sad story, and the biggest story is there were no working smoke alarms on any level of this townhouse,” said Platoon Chief Colin Shewell of the London Fire Department (LFD). “This could have been a tremendous tragedy and we're lucky no one was killed here early this morning.”

Six people were treated by EMS for smoke inhalation but none were taken to hospital.

Platoon Chief Colin Shewell spoke to CTV London on March 3, 2024. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)CPR was done on the one of the nine dogs, but it could not be saved.

LFD will be working with by-law officers regarding the number of people in the “rooming house.”

It was divided into a number of smaller rooms, and CTV News has learned that there were more than the permitted amount of occupants.

London Fire Department will be laying charges after an overnight basement fire on Boullee Street in London Ont. on March 3, 2024. (Brent Lale/CTV News London)“All of them are going to be charged from the property manager, [from] the owner to the tenant,” said Shewell. “There'll be no working smoke alarms and they'll have their day in court and be able to explain to the justice on what circumstances led up to why there was no working smoke alarms.”

Red Cross is helping look after the displaced tenants in conjunction with the London Police Service.

“This is an old story and we’ve been preaching about it for years, that smoke detectors [are] the cheapest, the simplest item to save your life,” said Shewell. “Unfortunately, people almost lost their [lives] last night.”

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