Students escape Prosperity Court fire

A photo of a partially boarded up house CREDIT: GRACIA ESPINOSA
A fire broke out in one of the houses at Prosperity Court near Fanshawe College, causing extensive damage to the home.

Six students escaped unharmed on the night of April 16 when a fire broke out in their home. 

The fire began around 10:15 p.m. at Prosperity Court, near Fanshawe College and next to Kestrel Court, one of the educational institution’s residence buildings. The area is known for its international student population.

Celia Saldaño, a Fanshawe College student, said she knows one of the surviving students.

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“They got out in time, but one almost didn’t make it,” Saldaño said. 

Firefighters arrived at the scene south of Fleming Drive shortly after the fire began. They encountered heavy smoke and flames from house number 948. Their quick response helped prevent the fire from spreading to neighbouring homes.

“The roof of the house was consumed pretty quickly. I remember three fire trucks and five or six police cars,” said one witness to the fire, Aura Lopez, who lives on a street behind the affected house. 

More than 25 firefighters and several fire trucks responded to the scene. While the initial intensity of the flames and smoke worried nearby residents, it was ultimately extinguished.

“There was a moment when I saw the entire roof on fire, and it went out within two or three seconds. The London Firefighters responded quite quickly,” said Lopez.

Lopez added that she knew there were no injuries because the ambulance was far behind, and the police were taking statements from people.

Investigators determined the fire started on the home’s exterior and spread to the roof.

According to the London Fire Department Platoon Chief Kirk Loveland, the cause is not considered suspicious.

“We can’t rule out carelessly discarded smoking materials [as the cause],” said Loveland, speaking to London News Today. “That is a possibility. We know it started on the exterior where there was garbage.”

He added that they are investigating whether any other safety violations could have contributed to the fire.

Loveland said the home was severely damaged, and the loss is estimated to be between $400,000 and $500,000. 

The police are urging residents to exercise caution and follow fire safety guidelines to prevent similar incidents in the future. All of affected students received support from the Red Cross and other agencies.