Fire Prevention Week being observed Oct. 4-10 in Amherstburg


Special to the RTT

Location matters when it comes to your smoke alarm.

That’s the message behind this year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign, “Hear the beep where you sleep. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm!”

Along with firefighters and safety advocates nationwide, the Amherstburg Fire Department is joining forces with the non-profit National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4-10, to remind local residents about the importance of having working smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement.

fire logo

“In a fire, seconds count,” said fire chief Al Reaume. “Half of home fire deaths result from fires reported at night between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most people are asleep. Home smoke alarms can alert people to a fire before it spreads, giving everyone enough time to get out.”

According to the latest NFPA research, working smoke alarms cut the chance of dying in a fire in half. Meanwhile, three out of five fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.

This year’s Fire Prevention Week campaign includes the following smoke alarm messages:

• Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.

• Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.

• Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.

• Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old, or sooner if they don’t respond properly.

• Make sure everyone in the home knows the sound of the smoke alarm and understands what to do when they hear it.

• If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. Go to your outside meeting place.

• Call the fire department from outside the home.

The Amherstburg Fire Department will be hosting open houses at Station 3 (6744 Concession 6 South) Oct. 5, Station 2 (3400 Middle Side Road) Oct. 7 and Station 1 271 Sandwich St. S.) Oct. 8. Open houses run from 5-8 p.m. each night.

The public is invited to come and meet the firefighters and learn more about how to protect your family from fire.

Through educational, family-oriented activities, residents can learn more about the importance of having a working smoke alarm in every bedroom.

To learn more about smoke alarms and “Hear the beep where you sleep. Every bedroom needs a working smoke alarm!” visit NFPA’s website at and

Sandwich St. S. fire causes $5,000-10,000 damage



Amherstburg firefighters responded to a small kitchen fire in the 300 block of Sandwich St. S. Sept. 30.

Amherstburg firefighters responded to a small kitchen fire in the 300 block of Sandwich St. S. Sept. 30.

By Ron Giofu


A fire in the 300 block of Sandwich St. S. Wednesday morning caused between $5,000-$10,000 damage, the Amherstburg Fire Department stated.

The mid-morning fire caused firefighters to be on scene roughly one hour, said Deputy Fire Chief Jim Ouellette. Ouellette said it was a small kitchen fire

“(The occupant) was outside and he noticed smoke coming out,” said Ouellette.

Ouellette said there wasn’t a lot of fire damage, adding the occupant was able to get most of it out with a fire extinguisher. Firefighters pulled down part of the ceiling to make sure the fire hadn’t extended anywhere and Ouellette confirmed it had not.

The home suffered mainly smoke damage. There were no injuries.

Firefighters got the situation under control quickly, Ouellette added.

“It was handled in a very prompt and efficient manner,” he said.

Cyclist injured after being struck on Alma St.

Aburg Police Logo Rev-web

By RTT Staff

Amherstburg police are investigating an accident that occurred early Wednesday morning that left a cyclist with serious injuries.

Amherstburg police state that a cyclist, a 26-year-old male from Amherstburg, was riding his bike east on Alma Street in the area of Concession 4 South when he was struck from behind by an eastbound mini-van. The cyclist was projected in to the ditch and sustained serious injuries.

Police are reminding cyclists that lights/reflectors are required on their bikes and that wearing a helmet is a safe practice.

The investigation is ongoing and police will be updating the case at a later time.

Amherstburg is a “five bloom” community



By Ron Giofu


Amherstburg has always been a community proud of its appearance and now provincial judges are back on board as well.

The town’s re-entry into the provincial Communities in Bloom (CiB) competition paid off, as the community was awarded five “blooms” – the most it was eligible for – at the CiB symposium in Perth over the weekend. Word made it back to Amherstburg where the achievement was recognized at a brief ceremony in Navy Yard Park Sunday afternoon.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Councillor Diane Pouget unveil the plaque signifying the town’s involvement in the 2015 Communities in Bloom competition. The town received the highest honor, which is five blooms.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Councillor Diane Pouget unveil the plaque signifying the town’s involvement in the 2015 Communities in Bloom competition. The town received the highest honor, which is five blooms.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo credited staff, administration, fellow council members, volunteers and the CiB committee for the town’s success in the competition. Judges were in town in late-July their decision came on Culture Days, something he found fitting.

DiCarlo was dressed in period attire, as he performed the noon cannon firing done by the Provincial Marine.

“We’re not just a beautiful community,” the mayor added, noting the town’s involvement in the Great Places in Canada online contest, the fact it is the safest community in Canada four of the last five years and was named Municipality of the Year by Festivals and Events Ontario (FEO).

CAO John Miceli said Councillor Diane Pouget was the driving force on council for CiB, as she was the council member on the CiB committee and took “a leadership role” and “worked diligently with her committee members.”
Other CiB committee members were Amherstburg Fort Malden Horticultural Society president Marilyn Cadotte, Paulette Drouillard, Maxine Iler, Rebecca Vander Vaart, Janet Willoughby, Annette Zahaluk, Anne Rota and Jen Ibrahim.

“It was amazing to see how much work the community did for Communities in Bloom,” said Miceli. “Thank you to the showcased Communities in Bloom sites that opened their doors to our judges and were willing to hop on our trolley of adventure. We wowed them and it showed.”

Miceli also thanked the sponsors that got behind CiB.

By obtaining five blooms, Amherstburg can now move on to the national competition.

“That is a really significant achievement for the town of Amherstburg,” said Miceli.

Pouget shared credit with the committee members and others who aided the effort.

“I’m so proud of so many people,” she said. “This would not be happening if it wasn’t for the residents, the employees, the parks committee and administration. It’s because of these people this win was possible.”

Amherstburg residents went “over and above” to make sure their homes were in the best shape possible, she added.

“I’m sure the residents are so proud of our town as a result,” she stated. “Now we’re not just the safest community in Canada, we’re one of the prettiest in Ontario.”

Willoughby, who was the Amherstburg Chamber of Commerce appointee to the committee, said she was excited by the news.

“I’m just so proud of the work everyone did,” said Willoughby. “There was never any doubt we would get five blooms.”

Council pre-commits 2017 cash for CWATS trail on Concession 2 North



Town council has pre-committed money in each of the next two budgets for paved shoulders. One shoulder that will be paved is along Concession 2 North (County Road 5) from Texas Road to Middle Side Road while the other will be along Sandwich St. S. near Seasons Amherstburg. Both are part of the County Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS).

Town council has pre-committed money in each of the next two budgets for paved shoulders on Concession 2 North.

By Ron Giofu


Town council has agreed to pre-commit $162,420 in its 2017 budget for a walking/cycling trail on Concession 2 North.

The stretch of road, between Middle Side Road and Texas Road, is also known as County Road 5 and council had already committed $163,800 in the 2016 budget earlier this year. The trail will be part of the County-Wide Active Transportation System (CWATS).

CAO John Miceli noted when the Essex County administration went out for detailed cost estimates, costs came in higher than anticipated. The county is willing to fund the project in the short-term, he said, and wait for the town to reimburse them in the future. Miceli added that helps the town with its cash management and allows for a new trail as well.

Mayor Aldo DiCarlo said he was speaking with county staff and said engineers were shocked when the estimates came in. He said they were roughly double what was anticipated.

Councillor Diane Pouget indicated she would be willing to cut spending on CWATS and focus efforts on other roads and unplanned items that have arisen, citing fire department expenses.

“We have to spend more on our needs instead of our wants,” she said.

Other members of council disagreed, stating there is value in the CWATS program.

Councillor Jason Lavigne indicated roads are still getting rebuilt and that CWATS is important to the town long-term.

“We do have to look at the big picture of the town and CWATS is a part of that,” said Lavigne.

“We have to partake. We just can’t back out because of other issues,” added Deputy Mayor Bart DiPasquale.

DiPasquale said while roads have to be repaired, there are people who depend on trails and sidewalks. He said many people cycle or walk in the area of the Libro Centre alone.

“A lot of people depend on CWATS,” said DiPasquale.

Councillor Rick Fryer indicated new trails are helpful to motorists as well, noting new laws require vehicles to be at least one metre away from cyclists. Fryer added that such work should be done in conjunction with other construction work, noting that the county repaved Middle Side Road between Concession 2 North and County Road 20.

“Why not do it at the same time?” he asked.

Manager of engineering Todd Hewitt noted that stretch of Middle Side Road – which is also County Road 10 – was not part of the CWATS plan. The county pays 40 per cent of CWATS costs, he added, while the town is responsible for 60 per cent of the costs. Fryer believed the province should help provide funding for county road projects.

The overall cost of the road is estimated at $543,700 with Essex County’s portion being $217,480.