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UPDATE: Fairwinds Lodge fire under investigation; roads reopened to traffic

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Cathy Dobson and Tara Jeffrey

Michigan Avenue at Murphy Road reopened to traffic late Monday morning after fire ravaged the top story of Fairwinds Lodge’s north wing overnight.

Sarnia Fire Chief Bryan Van Gaver was on site with a fire crew and said the blaze, which broke out around 11 p.m. Sunday night, is under investigation and the cause won’t be known for at least several days.

Fire crews were still on the scene at Fairwinds Lodge retirement home Monday. (Cathy Dobson photo)

Van Gaver said all 120 residents in the retirement home’s 113 units are accounted for thanks to the quick response of local first responders. An emergency shelter set up at Lambton College was able to accommodate residents as they were transported away from the fire by Sarnia Transit.

Upon arrival, police and fire crews conducted a room-by-room search, a news release noted.

Additional fire crews from Sarnia, Point Edward, St. Clair Township and Port Huron were dispatched. Some 75 firefighters responded and the fire was largely under control at 1:30 a.m.

Sarnia Fire Rescue photo.

The remaining residents were expected to be relocated with family, or to alternative housing, by noon on Monday, police added.

“I would like to thank our cross-border partners with the Port Huron Fire Department, neighbouring fire services, EMS, Police, Sarnia Transit, and Lambton College for their quick response and assistance in ensuring all residents were evacuated, accounted for, and sheltered safely,” said Van Gaver.

Residents were transported to a temporary shelter at Lambton College.

Individuals concerned with family members housed at Fairwinds Lodge can call the facility’s management company, Sienna Senior Living, at 1-866-959-4848.

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