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Kemptville Fire

By now most people in our community are aware of the deadly fire that took place in neighbouring Kemptville on June 1st. Nineteen year old Amber Lee, a former resident of Metcalfe and her nine month old baby Payton died as of the result of what turned out to be unattended cooking. A pot of oil which was being used to cook french fries was left unattended, the mother and her boyfriend were outside while the baby was sleeping on the second floor of the home. Upon noticing flames coming from within the home Amber Lee reentered the burning home to save her child from the flames. Both mother and child were overcome by smoke inhalation and perished in the second floor room. A truly horrific scene and a very sad outcome, however the circumstances that lead to this tragedy need to be reviewed in hopes that others may learn from this horrible loss.


The main message we need to get across to people are the dangers of unattended cooking, especially deep frying. According to recent statistics from the Fire Marshals Office, 27% of all preventable residential fires were the result of kitchen fires, and half of these fires were classified as oil or grease fires. Grease fires are extremely powerful fires, they can produce flames that reach the ceiling of the average kitchen and spread incredibly fast, the Kemptville fire being an example of this. We need to create a mindset in the public that leaving the stove unattended is not acceptable, even for a few moments. Considering the statistics about kitchen fires it is obvious that this message is not getting through to the general public. Even more disheartening is that fire related fatalities in Ontario are on the rise this year. To date there have been 56 fire related deaths, and in most cases these fires are preventable.


Having a deadly fire so close to home is a sobering experience for any community, these type of things donít just happen in other towns, they can happen at home if we donít pay attention to simple fire safety rules. The Officers and firefighters of the Russell Fire Department wish to express our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Amber Lee and her daughter Payton.

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