Mattress fire leads to evacuation of Nelson's Ward Street Place

The burned mattress outside Nelson
The burned mattress outside Nelson's Ward Street place early Tuesday morning.
— image credit: LeRoy Milton photo

Residents of Ward Street Place were evacuated around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning as fire broke out in one of the 37 low-cost rental units.

Alerted of the blaze, the Nelson Fire Department responded and found a mattress on fire.

“When crews arrived there was as small fire that they were able to extinguish,” says assistant fire chief Michael Daloise.

The mattress was moved out into the street to minimize water damage in the suite.

While the fire is under investigation, Daloise says it was caused by a person heating objects to warm their bed – an unsafe practice.

“This is a reminder to not put hot objects where hot objects are not supposed to go,” he says.

Fire officials are pleased that a working smoke alarm helped in this situation, says Daloise.

The 100-year-old building at the corner of Ward and Victoria streets also contains five commercial storefronts and Stepping Stones emergency shelter run out of the basement.

Nelson CARES society is currently making fire safety improvements at the property including building-wide sprinklers, a new fire alarm system and fireproofing of interior doors. The work is scheduled to be complete by the end of March.


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