2nd body found 11 days after Hamilton house fire

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Published March 2, 2023 at 11:05 am

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

A second person was found dead after a fire ripped through a downtown Hamilton home last month.

This is the second time since the Feb. 17 blaze was extinguished that a body has been found.

The two-and-a-half-storey home at 69 Century St., near Wilson and Wentworth streets, suffered significant structural damage, and so firefighters were forced to evacuate the home for safety reasons, interrupting their search and rescue operation.

Hamilton Fire initially reported a total of nine people inside the multi-family home. However, two individuals were unaccounted for on the top floors.

hamilton fire downtown landsdale century wentworth wilson house

The first body was found during a post-fire search last week. The second was found several days later, after the roof of the home was mechanically removed by investigators.

Evidence collected by the Ontario fire marshall suggests that residents were not alerted by a smoke alarm. Witnesses also claim not to have heard an alarm.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

Firefighters arrived at the home near Wentworth and Wilson streets just after 9:20 a.m. on Feb. 17 to find heavy smoke and flames venting from the two-and-a-half-storey home. Neighbouring homes were also exposed to flames.

Three individuals were rescued.

hamilton fire downtown landsdale century wentworth wilson house

“Firefighters using ground ladders were able to quickly rescue the person from the second-floor window and the two people from the roof of the adjacent house,” Hamilton Fire Chief David Cunliffe wrote in an email.

It’s believed that three additional people self-evacuated from the burning home.

“As the rescues were being completed, firefighters entered the building to perform search and rescue and interior firefighting operations,” added Cunliffe. “Interior crews reported fire on the first and second floors, with heavy fire in the walls and between the floors.”

“Two aerial ladders with large volumes of water streams and additional exterior handlines were utilized to help protect the homes on either side and bring the fire under control.”

The home sustained significant damage, including a collapsed roof. The damage estimate is more than $850,000.00.

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