The Hamilton Spectator

Discovery of second body after fire confirmed

Victim was found on third floor of rooming house on Century Street, but it’s not clear when


Another person has been confirmed to have died in a Hamilton house fire that occurred almost two weeks ago.

A city spokespers­on said in a statement Tuesday that the body of a second victim was found on the third floor of the rooming house on Century Street in the lower city.

Up until now, only one person was reported to have died in the dramatic Feb. 17 fire that forced several tenants to hastily escape from windows and rooftops. The second body was found after the roof of the home was dismantled, but it remains unclear when that happened.

Spectator inquires regarding that informatio­n, as well as why there has been no public notificati­on about the discovery, have not yet been answered by city and local fire officials.

“The body was found in an area of the house that, during interior firefighti­ng operations, our firefighte­rs were unable to access due to interior structural collapse and heavy fire involvemen­t,” city spokespers­on Lauren Vastano said of the second victim in an email, later clarifying that the body was found by the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal (OFM).

The OFM has been probing the cause of the blaze since the afternoon of Feb. 17, when Hamilton firefighte­rs located the body of a victim inside the home at 69 Century St.

That first discovery came hours after local crews first responded to the multiple-alarm blaze around 9:20 a.m.

Firefighte­rs were still dousing the powerful fire when Hamilton police notified them just before noon of a person still believed to be inside the rooming house. The unaccounte­d resident was later found dead on the second floor after crews ensured safe entry into the home.

At the time, Chief Dave Cunliffe said firefighte­rs were halfway through search-and-rescue operations on the second floor when they had to withdraw because of collapsed flooring.

The ghastly blaze also sent five other people to hospital, including one in critical condition.

 ?? BARRY GRAY THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR FILE PHOTO ?? The Ontario Fire Marshal has been investigat­ing the blaze at 69 Century St.
BARRY GRAY THE HAMILTON SPECTATOR FILE PHOTO The Ontario Fire Marshal has been investigat­ing the blaze at 69 Century St.

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