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Victim of Forest Lawn house fire dies in hospital
Published Tuesday, March 12, 2019 9:24AM MDT Last Updated Tuesday, March 12, 2019 6:40PM MDT
Police confirm a man has died as a result of a fire at a home in the city’s southeast on Tuesday morning.
Fire crews responded to a home in the 2600 block of 44 Street S.E. for reports of a fire at about 8:25 a.m.
A man was taken out of the home and transported to the Foothills Medical Centre by EMS in critical, life threatening condition.
“A fire crew quickly went in and they did find someone in the basement that they pulled out and transferred care to EMS and they’re at the hospital now. The person was unconscious when they pulled him out,” said Carol Henke, CFD Public Information Officer.
Calgary Police Service officials confirm the victim, a man believed to be in his 40s, succumbed to his injuries in hospital on Tuesday afternoon. The identity of the deceased has not been released and police say they have not yet notified the man's next of kin.
Officials say the fire is believed to have started in the basement of the home.
“The fire originated in the basement and it did cause enough damage that it’s affected the structural integrity of the main floor at a corner of the house. Fire crews were able to do a thorough search of the basement, no one else was found in the basement,” said Henke.
Fire crews were initially unable to search the main floor because of structural issues but managed to get inside a short time later and say no one else was in the home.
Henke says the amount of smoke in the home made the search for occupants challenging.
“Well the house was fully charged with smoke so if you image an environment where you can’t see at all, and so they had to find their way downstairs and then they found the patient and pulled him out and immediately transferred care to EMS, then to go back inside, look for more people potentially and extinguish the fire and find the seat of the fire and in a very thick, smoky conditions, it is dangerous and they put their lives at risk going into these types of situations.”
Nicole Birch lives nearby and says she smelled something burning.
“I let my cat outside the back window, and just billowing smoke came in my window and I was like something’s not right so I went outside and that’s when I noticed fire, then everyone started coming, all the fire people,” she said. “There was no flames, it was just a bunch of smoke, billowing smoke, like just black, grey, coming out of all the windows, all the doors. That’s when I panicked and came inside and called 911 and then they all just started showing up.”
Police have blocked off 44th Street from 23rd to 26th Avenue S.E. to give crews room to work.
Crews were able to contain the fire but the home sustained significant damage.
No other homes were impacted and a fire investigator is at the scene.
Anyone with photos or video of the fire is asked to email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.