Three occupants suffered smoke inhalation injuries following a high-rise building fire in Hamilton


Published July 16, 2023 at 1:23 pm

The local fire department crew responded to a structure fire at an 18-storey residential high-rise building in Hamilton this morning which left three occupants with burn and smoke inhalation injuries.

On Sunday (July 16) shortly after 12:30 a.m.,  firefighters were dispatched to a blaze at an apartment building at 221 Melvin Ave., east of Barton St.

First arriving crews reported smoke visible from the exterior on the 16th floor and the situation was immediately upgraded to a multiple alarm fire bringing extra resources from across the city to the scene.

According to a Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe, the fire was located on the 16th floor inside unit 1605.

“Crews made immediate entry into the apartment to initiate search and rescue and firefighting operations,” reported Cunliffe.

Firefighters found a well involved fire in the bedroom and there was heavy smoke in the unit and hallway on the 16th floor.

Additional crews members  made their way up to the fire floor, where they located the occupant of the apartment fire who had self-evacuated.

“The occupant appeared to have suffered burns, as well as smoke inhalation and was immediately taken by firefighters and transferred to the care of paramedic services,” said Cunliffe.

Two other residents from the fire floor were also placed in the care of paramedics due to smoke inhalation and breathing complaints. All three patients were then transported to hospital for treatment.

The fire crew were able to quickly bring the blaze under control. However, the apartment sustained heavy damages.

“At the time of this report the occupant of the apartment has been admitted to hospital and is in critical but stable condition, ” wrote Cunliffe.

“Three pets in the fire apartment were found deceased,” he added. “No other injuries were reported.”

The damage is estimated to be in the neighbourhood of $250,000. Although the cause of the fire is not known at this time and the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has been notified, the fire chief wrote.

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