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OAFC confirms no sprinklers in retirement home

May 26 2012, Hawkesbury  Ont. - The president of Ontario's Association of Fire Chiefs is confirming there were no sprinklers in a Hawkesbury retirement home where an elderly couple died in a fire Friday night.

May 26, 2012
By The Canadian Press

Chief Kevin Foster says the deaths are "even more tragic'' as they come less than a day after a coroner's inquest into the deaths
of four seniors at an Orillia, Ont., retirement home which did not have sprinklers.

The coroner's report called for retroactive installation of sprinklers in vulnerable occupancies like retirement homes _ a
recommendation Foster says must be acted on with urgency.

Friday's fire broke out around 9:30 p.m. at the Place Mont-Roc
home, about 100 kilometres east of Ottawa, forcing about 90
residents to evacuate.

Some were taken to hospital as a precaution, while others were
taken to a nearby retirement home or put in touch with family. Two
firefighters were injured.

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Police have identified the couple who died as Anne-Marie Bonin,
84, and Jean-Paul Bonin, 87.

The cause of the blaze is unknown and the Ontario Fire Marshal
has been called in.

The lack of sprinklers in the Hawkesbury retirement home
highlights the issues identified by the coroner's report in the
Orillia blaze.

That June 2009 fire at the Muskoka Heights Retirement Residence
killed four people and left six elderly residents critically injured
_ a toll fire officials called needless.

A number of the 39 recommendations made by the coroner's inquest
were related to automatic sprinklers and the retrofitting of such
sprinklers in retirement homes and assisted living centres.

The Ontario Association of Fire Chiefs notes this is the fourth
coroner's jury to call for automatic sprinklers in nursing and
retirement homes since 1980.

In addition, the jury recommended that smoke detectors be
installed in all sleeping rooms, and automatic door closers and hold
open devices be installed throughout the facilities.

The jurors also recommended that all fire departments should
develop and implement regular mock evacuation programs for
retirement residences.


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