Hamilton house fire leaves 2 adults, 2 children dead, officials say


Two adults and two children are dead after a late night three-alarm fire in Hamilton on Thursday, officials say. 

The Hamilton fire department says it received multiple calls shortly after 11 p.m. for a structure fire at 14 Derby Street, near Upper Gage Avenue and Rymal Road.

First responders say a centre unit in a row of townhouses was “fully involved” with heavy smoke and fire visible from both the front and back of the unit, Hamilton fire Chief Dave Cunliffe said. 

Dave Thompson, Hamilton Paramedic Service superintendent, told CBC Hamilton two children, a 30-year-old female and a 40-year-old male died in hospital after firefighters found them on the second floor of the burning townhouse.

Cunliffe said “crews quickly initiated aggressive interior search and rescue [and] firefighting operations from both the front and rear of the unit.”

Hamilton police say a total of six people were located with the unit and transported to hospital, where two adults and two children were pronounced dead. The remaining two people remain in stable condition, police say.  The first crew to arrive was told there were people trapped on the second floor, the fire department said. Crews were met with fire, heavy smoke and high heat as they pulled out four people from the second floor.

Mike Ross, fire marshall investigator, said the fire originated in the main level of the house and “there is no evidence of working smoke alarms.”

He said “significant amount of fire spread through the entire ground floor and migrated up the stairwell… and caused quite a bit of damage to the second floor as well. Smoke spread throughout the entire house.”

Namish Shah, a neighbour, said “We heard the fire trucks coming… everybody was panicking.” He said “It was really sad to see two kids on a stretcher.”

The cost in damages of the fire, along with the cause, are not known at this time, Cunliffe says. 

Firefighters “did everything they could through very difficult conditions,” he said. “It is very difficult when we bring people out and they, unfortunately, succumb to their injuries.” 

First responders can be seen outside of a house.
First responders responded to a fire at 14 Derby Street in Hamilton Thursday night. Two adults and two children were later pronounced dead, officials say. (CBC)

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