An apartment fire on Matheson Street has highlighted the need for more housing in the district, says the Kenora District Services Board.

The Sunset Area Victim Crisis Assistance and Referral service, the Kenora District Services Board and the Canadian Red Cross Kenora Branch are continuing to work to help 15 tenants find a safe place to stay, after their apartment building caught fire in Kenora earlier this week.

The KDSB says that the three organizations have been experiencing challenges in securing a temporary shelter for those who have been displaced, however they have met the need to provide food and temporary shelter. They say that work will continue with multiple agencies to find a permanent solution for the tenants.

The KDSB adds that the current situation highlights the need for more housing in Kenora. They say that without the development of more housing in the community, it will become increasingly difficult for vulnerable families and individuals to secure housing. The services board has plans to establish another 150 supportive housing units in the district this year, with 60 to 80 of those housing units being brand new builds. However, for every family that the services board places in a home, there are between 20 to 27 families added to the housing wait-list.

The fire was called in by passing police officers around 1:31 a.m. on April 20, which brought firefighters and ambulance to assist. No injuries were reported.

A commercial restoration crew was on the scene later that afternoon, as they boarded up the apartment block. Tenants watching from the parking lot weren't allowed back inside to collect any belongings.

Fire chief Todd Skene said it was unclear what the cause of the fire may have been. However, the fire chief was willing to say the cause of the fire wasn't considered suspicious. Skene went on to say the estimate of the damage would be about $400,000. That's about equal to a total loss, depending on what the insurer decides, the fire chief noted.

The building's owner, Kevin Queen, said his first concern was for the tenants, and he was doing what he could to help them get resettled.

For more information:
Fire on Matheson
More housing coming, Wall

More Local News

Lawyer fired after comments about 14-year-old

The services from a Toronto-based lawyer representing Kenora – Rainy River Districts Child & Family Services have been terminated, following claims that a 14 or 15-year-old girl is a “sexually mature…

City of Kenora seeking public opinion on fixed water and sewer fees

The City of Kenora is looking for your input. They've released a survey regarding the fixed service fee for water and sewer services. The fixed service fee is based on the cost of providing water and…

Ice patrol underway

Kenora's Ice Patrol pilot -- Tim Armstrong -- is already posting images of what the lake looks like, as the spring melt gets underway. Last year, he declared the lake was clear of ice May 14. This…

'Constructive discussion' at justice meeting

The Grand Council Treaty 3 hosted a two-day workshop last week, with a focus on reducing the number of First Nations people in the criminal justice system. Grand chief Francis Kavanaugh says more…

UNDRIP bill passes second reading unanimously

Kiiwetinoong member Sol Mamakwa wants to see clean drinking water and better housing in First Nation communities. So, he is calling on Queen's Park to adopt the UN Declaration on the Rights of…

Keewatin-Patricia waits for details

Reforms to education may help some students in the northwest. Sean Monteith from the Keewatin-Patricia District School Board explains. "The banning of cell phone use by students in classrooms for…

A vision for reconciliation

A two-day workshop at Wauzhushk Onigum will help pave the way towards reconciliation. "We are at a point now, where we have some direction," says Martin Camire of Reconciliation Kenora. "We had to…

Ottawa to help skills training

Ottawa is offering additional funds for skills training, through their spring budget. Kenora MP Bob Nault made the announcement, after visiting with the prime minister -- as well as the minister…

Developer balks at utility costs

David Luby had a straightforward message for Kenora city council. Unless he got help with water and sewer costs, he couldn't afford to build an 11-unit sub-division. "In past history, the town has…

Rickford 'cleaning up the (hydro) mess'

The provincial government is promising to keep its promise by lowering hydro rates by 12 per cent, as well as limit future rate increases to the rate of inflation. Earlier this week, Energy Minister… is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.