Child dies af­ter be­ing pulled from base­ment apart­ment fire

The On­tario fire mar­shal is in­ves­ti­gat­ing Hamil­ton’s lat­est fa­tal­ity; since the start of 2016, 12 deaths across the city have been linked to fires

The Hamilton Spectator - - FRONT PAGE - CARMELA FRAGOMENI

A young child died af­ter fire­fight­ers res­cued him from a burn­ing base­ment apart­ment on the west Moun­tain.

The child — a three-year-old boy ac­cord­ing to neigh­bours — suc­cumbed to his in­juries af­ter be­ing taken by am­bu­lance to the Hamil­ton Gen­eral Hospi­tal on Mon­day morn­ing.

The child’s mother was also taken to hospi­tal for ob­ser­va­tion due to pos­si­ble smoke in­hala­tion, said Hamil­ton Fire De­part­ment spokesper­son Clau­dio Mostacci.

The Hamil­ton Coro­ner’s Of­fice was at the scene late Mon­day, along with of­fi­cials from On­tario’s Of­fice of the Fire Mar­shal.

Fire­fight­ers found flames and heavy smoke com­ing out of a front base­ment win­dow at 240 Golden Or­chard Dr. af­ter re­spond­ing to call at 10:02 a.m. The home is in the vicin­ity of Garth Street and the Lin­coln M. Alexan­der Park­way.

They were told by on­look­ers a child was still inside the house, an at­tached semi, and be­gan a search be­fore find­ing the child in the base­ment, Mostacci said.

The boy was handed to wait­ing paramedics and rushed to hospi­tal, Mostacci said.

Next-door neigh­bour Bran­don Jolly said the boy was alive but had in­haled a lot of smoke by the time fire­fight­ers car­ried him out­side.

“They had him on oxy­gen right away,” he

added. .

Fire­fight­ers were quick get­ting into the house, but for some rea­son the boy got stuck.

“He was trapped. It was a good five min­utes be­fore they brought him out,” he said.

Jolly, who lives in the other half of the semi, said smoke had been bil­low­ing out the base­ment win­dow.

Jolly said he did not know the sin­gle mom or the boy.

“We never re­ally saw her. She hasn’t been here that long.”

Neigh­bours told him the mother was cook­ing up­stairs in the com­mon kitchen and no­ticed smoke, Jolly said. They also said she came

They had him on oxy­gen right away. BRAN­DON JOLLY NEIGH­BOUR

out­side scream­ing be­cause she couldn’t get to her baby down­stairs.

Nick Ter­mini, who has lived on the street for a few years, said he be­lieved the mom and her son moved in a few months ago. Since then, he would some­times see her push­ing the lit­tle boy down the street in a stroller. A stroller rested on the front lawn of the house next to where the fire broke out.

By Mon­day evening, a small me­mo­rial had been set up on the grass out­side the home, just be­hind po­lice tape. A cou­ple of stuffed an­i­mals sat be­side hand­writ­ten let­ters.

A per­son iden­ti­fy­ing them­selves as a fam­ily mem­ber started a Go­FundMe page to help with fu­neral costs for the three-year-old boy, who they said was named Cay­den. They iden­ti­fied Cay­den’s mom as Su­san.

Mostacci said the cause is still un­known, but the Fire Mar­shal’s of­fice con­tin­ues to in­ves­ti­gate.

Fire­fight­ers were able to con­tain the fire to the base­ment, with­out any spread to the ad­join­ing unit. Dam­age is es­ti­mated at about $150,000.

A per­son was re­moved from an apart­ment fire in down­town Hamil­ton in Fe­bru­ary and pro­nounced dead. The gen­der has not been made pub­lic and it is be­ing probed by the fire mar­shal. There were 11 fire fa­tal­i­ties in Hamil­ton in 2016.

Fire­fight­ers on the scene of a fa­tal fire at 240 Golden Or­chard Dr. on the west Moun­tain. A child was pulled from the home and was rushed to hospi­tal by am­bu­lance but was later pro­nounced dead. The On­tario Fire Mar­shal’s of­fice is in­ves­ti­gat­ing. Neigh­bours says the vic­tim is a three-year-old boy.

JOHN RENNISON, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR

Fire­fight­ers in the base­ment at 240 Golden Or­chard Dr. on the west Moun­tain. A young child was pulled from the base­ment and pro­nounced dead at hospi­tal. The On­tario Fire Mar­shal’s of­fice is in­ves­ti­gat­ing.

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