Lack of smoke alarms factor in cottage fire

Aug. 3, 2017, Toronto – Investigators say a lack of smoke alarms in the vaulted ceiling of a cottage near Peterborough, Ont., was a key factor in the deaths of four people last December.

They say the exact cause of the fire at the cottage on Stoney Lake early on Christmas Eve 2016 is unknown, but say the blaze started in the living room.

Scott Evenden, an investigator with the Office of the Fire Marshal, says there were smoke alarms in the cottage but none in the vaulted ceiling or stairwell areas.

He says as the smoke rose from the fire, it gathered in the vaulted ceiling and then spread horizontally before triggering any of the cottage’s smoke alarms.

The fire killed Jacquie Gardner, her husband Geoff Taber, and their two sons.

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