Cause of Whitby fire unknown

The remains of Fairview Lodge, the Whitby nursing home that had a devastating fire on Monday morning
The remains of Fairview Lodge, the Whitby nursing home that had a devastating fire on Monday morning.


Whitby fire chief Dave Speed said he couldn’t be more proud of his team’s response to the massive fire at Fairview Lodge.

After speaking with the Fire Marshal, Speed said that there is no known cause for the Oct. 27 fire and it will likely go undetermined.

Two wings of the building, which housed 192 senior citizens, went up in flames Monday morning and lasted into the night. Firefighters were able to contain the fire so it didn’t spread but the whole building is destroyed, Speed said.

Whitby Fire Service had help from its “brothers and sisters” in Oshawa and Ajax. The neighbouring fire departments each sent two trucks to the site where Whitby already had five trucks. Oshawa sent an additional truck to one of Whitby’s fire departments to attend to all other calls.

All of the residents and staff of Fairview Lodge were evacuated safely. There were no injuries despite what Speed described as “a significant potential for injury or loss of life.”

There has yet to be a figure assigned to the damages. Speed said a replacement structure won’t be built as a new one is already under construction on the 12-acre Fairview Lodge property.

The Region of Durham said that residents are temporarily living at hospitals and other retirement homes nearby, including Hillsdale Estates and Hillsdale Terraces in Oshawa.

An information line has been established for family members of residents who are seeking more information about the whereabouts and well-being of their loved ones. Family members of Fairview Lodge residents can call 905-579-3313.

An employee from Hillsdale Estates, another local Durham Region operated nursing home, said they have monthly fire drills on each shift to ensure that staff are well-trained.