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'Such outcomes are unspeakable': Fatal fire in Waterloo under investigation


Flames and smoke could be seen shooting out of a home on Graham Street in Waterloo shortly after midnight on Monday, creating a scene that firefighters say was intense before they arrived.

“When they turned off of Weber Street onto Roger, they could see the glow of the fire and smoke. That in addition to multiple calls about the fire, they knew that they were responding to a very significant incident,” Waterloo Fire Chief Richard Hepditch said.

Fire officials were able to get the fire under control just after 3 a.m., but multiple people were sent to hospital, including a 54-year-old woman who was pronounced dead.

A 58-year-old man and a 30-year-old man were also rushed to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“Such outcomes are unspeakable. There’s no way that we can know how the family is grieving and feeling, but we can get behind them as a community as family friends and loved ones to help out,” said Hepditch.

“Our crews also were able to perform a rescue from the exterior of the property,” he added. “Though a tragic outcome, we’d like to acknowledge their contributions to a very significant fire and we thank them for their efforts.”

In a statement released Monday afternoon, the City of Waterloo said it offers its deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Waterloo resident who tragically died in the fire.

“On behalf of council, we join the family and friends of the deceased in mourning the loss of life as a result of this devastating fire. We offer our sincere condolences,” said Waterloo Mayor Dorothy McCabe. “We also extend our gratitude to the emergency services staff who responded swiftly to the scene.”

The Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM) is also investigating.

“[We are] focusing our efforts on the north side of the building. We won’t have those answers until our investigation is complete,” said Michael Bird, a fire investigator with the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM).

The OFM uncovered another heartbreaking discovery, learning four dogs and three cats were also inside the home.

“So far the ones we’ve located have been deceased,” said Bird.

The City of Waterloo said four buildings were impacted by the fire -- two of them significantly.

It is estimating about $1.5 million in total damages.

“We should have the scene examination by the end of the day [Tuesday],” Bird said. “It may be sooner, it may be later, I’m not sure at this point.” Top Stories

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