Couple's death strengthens call for sprinklers
Published Monday, May 28, 2012 5:25PM EDT
There are more calls to have mandatory sprinkler systems installed in retirement homes after a fire at a seniors' home killed elderly couple.
84-year-old Marie-Anne Bonin and her husband, 87-year-old Jean Paul Bonin died after a fire broke out at Place Mont-Roc in Hawkesbury.
Hawkesbury's Fire Chief Ghislain Pigeon said sprinklers should be mandatory in seniors' homes.
"They would put water on the fire early in the operation and would assist us in operations," he said.
Some critics argue installing sprinklers in older homes would be too expensive and impractical in rural environments with lower water supplies.
Residents in the area disagreed.
"We need some sprinklers for protection of people," said one resident.
"Everybody would be safe at least if you put them there you know everybody would be safe. This way you don't know if they're safe," said another.
Pigeon said sprinkler systems save lives.
"We saw walkers in this fire, lots of people using walkers to make it to the exits," he said.
"The people are not able to exit rapidly. Sprinklers would allow them time to make it to the exits probably in a much safer time."
The couple died in the same day the Ontario coroner released a report recommending all older buildings be retrofitted with sprinklers.
Ontario's Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday he wants to speed up a review of fire safety improvements in seniors' homes following the deaths
The cause of the fire is still unknown. The local OPP unit, as well as the fire marshal, are investigating.
With a report from CTV Ottawa's Ellen Mauro
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