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Lithium-ion batteries blamed for devastating Cambridge fire

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Investigators believe lithium-ion batteries sparked Thursday’s fire at a Cambridge apartment complex.

Flames and smoke were reported at the Avenue Road building around 6 p.m.

Witnesses said people were taken out of the building on stretchers while others needed to be rescued from the balconies.

Paramedics treated 10 residents at the scene and, of those, five were then transported to hospital.

Officials said 26 residents were displaced by the fire, with some getting help to find other accommodations.

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office was called in to determine the cause of the Avenue Road incident.

The damaged exterior of a Avenue Road building in Cambridge after a fire on May 23, 2024. (Chris Thomson/CTV News)

“While I can confirm there is evidence that a lithium-ion battery was involved in the fire, the investigation remains ongoing and I cannot comment further at this time,” Sean Driscoll, the OFM’s senior strategic communications advisor, told CTV News in an email Monday.

Cambridge Deputy Fire Chief Brad Churchill said it’s believe the batteries were charging in one of the units.

No further details have been released about the extent of the fire, damage estimate or condition of the residents.

- With reporting by Jeff Pickel

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