'This had the potential to get out of control quickly' : Fire breaks out in cabin at camp
Fire officials respond to a cabin fire at YMCA Camp Ki-Wa-Y (July 19, 2019) (Courtesy: Wellesley Township Fire Department)
Published Saturday, July 20, 2019 3:52PM EDT
Last Updated Saturday, July 20, 2019 5:24PM EDT
Eight campers and two staff members were inside a cabin at the time a fire broke out.
Fire officials were called to the incident at YMCA Camp Ki-Wa-Y in St. Clements around 10:30 p.m. Friday.
The VP of marketing and communications for the YMCAs of Kitchener-Waterloo confirms that one staff member went to hospital for smoke inhalation.
All the campers and counsellors escaped the fire safely.
Wellesley Township Fire Chief Paul Redman says the fire was accidentally started when one of the counsellors was striking a flint fire starter. A spark caught exposed straw that insulates the cabins.
"This had the potential to get out of control quickly with the extreme heat and close proximity of the structures," said Redman.
He explains that the cabin is 15 years old and the straw insulation would have been dry enough to ignite quickly.
The two cabins beside were also evacuated as a precaution. Campers from the affected cabin were moved to a different building for the remainder of the night.
Fire crews remained on scene until early Saturday morning. The Ontario Fire Marshall’s Office was notified and determined further investigation wasn’t necessary.
"This is a good example of why people should always make sure there is working smoke alarms even when they are on vacation," said Redman. "Always have a fire escape plan that everyone knows."
The cabin affected by the fire will remain closed for the rest of the summer.