July Worst Month on Record for City Fires

A 73-year-old woman died in this condo complex fire on St. Mary's Road on July 14, 2011. (WPGCAMERAMAN / CHRISD.CA FILE)

July was the worst month on record for fires in Winnipeg, according to statistics released Wednesday by the United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg.

A total of 385 fires broke out, accounting for 18 injuries and a loss of $4,832,705 in property. Of the fires reported, 16 were suspected arson cases, in which seven people died.

On July 16, five people were killed when a fire erupted inside of a Point Douglas rooming house. A woman was charged in connection to the deliberate blaze.

Of the total loss, $4,055,605 is being contributed to possible arson.

The UFFW says fire-related injuries and deaths last month are higher than in other Canadian jurisdictions — and are equal to what would be expected for the whole
year for other cities in Canada.

Unfortunately, the outcome doesn’t look any better for August. The UFFW says the trend could continue this month to what firefighters dealt with in July.

On Wednesday, Manitoba Conservation announced an immediate ban on all campfires in provincial parks in the eastern part of the province (areas 1, 2 and 3) due to dry conditions.