Fire claims life

Fire claims life - Thunder Bay, Ontario - Investigators have confirmed that one person who was rushed to the hospital Monday night after a fire destroyed a Limbrick Street townhouse has died.

Paramedics rush a man to hospital Monday night after a Limbrick Street fire tore through a townhouse. At least three people were inside the structure when firefighters arrived at about 8 p.m. to find the residence engulfed in flames and thick smoke pouring from the building. Firefighters and paramedics performed CPR on the injured man for several minutes, before whisking him away on a stretcher to Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre.

On Tuesday morning, Thunder Bay Fire and Rescue deputy chief Greg Hankkio confirmed that one person had died as a result of the fire. No other details are immediately available.

On Monday night, fire Chief John Hay said his crews arrived within minutes, but the unit was already consumed in flames.
"They made a quick attack on the fire and they actually found some victims there. There were three people injured. I believe one came out of the window. Another was trying to help someone who was in the building and the firefighters, I believe, pulled one out of the building," Hay said.

James Hubbard, a nearby resident, said he was coming home from the store when he spotted the fire.
He said his first thought was to try to help out whoever was inside.

"I saw the police coming to the back and I ran around front. I saw this lady banging on the window trying to get out," Hubbard said. "I saw this ... guy in a yellow shirt and he was saying, 'Help me out, help me out.' Everyone just stands there and no one helped him. So I helped him out with another guy in glasses to get up to the window.

"He hops up to the window and punches the window out and drags that woman out. Me and the guy, we catch her down and I threw him up my shirt to go around his face. He climbed in the window after and checked the bed to see if there was someone else in there, which we heard there was."

But the flames and smoke proved to be too much for the rescuer.

"He couldn't find them quickly and he came back out because he would have probably died from smoke inhalation. We helped him down and that's pretty much it," Hubbard said.

Hay said it's far too early to determine what happened.

"That's going to be premature for us tonight, especially with it getting dark. We're going to do a lot of work to ensure the fire doesn't extend into the other units in the row house and then we'll preserve so evidence for tomorrow and we'll get our investigators in and probably the (Ontario Fire Marshal's Office) and the police."

Hay did say it appears some recent upgrades to the firewalls between the row houses did their job, preventing the blaze from spreading to adjacent residences.

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