Update: Two deceased – Montreal Street house fire sends three people to hospital

Investigators comb through the charred interior of the house at 895 Montreal Street on Saturday, Apr. 1, 2023. Photo by Cris Vilela/Kingstonist.

Update (Monday, Apr. 3, 2023, at 1:35 p.m.):
Kingston Police have now confirmed that a second person has passed away in connection with the residential fire that occurred on Montreal Street on Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023.

“As a result of the fire on March 30, 2023, in the 800 block of Montreal Street the second person taken to hospital in critical condition has succumbed to their injuries. The individual was pronounced deceased on April 1, 2023,” Kingston Police said in a press release on Monday, Apr. 3, 2023.

According to both Kingston Police and the Ontario Fire Marshal, the cause of the fire remains under investigation, who are also working with Kingston Fire and Rescue and the Office of the Coroner on the case.

“Our folks are just working here with police fire and the coroner’s office to do that investigation of this fire that occurred. And our job here as the fire marshal is to try to determine the origin where the fire started and the cause what started the fire. So our folks have been working here all day to do that,” Lonnie Schubert of the Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office said while on scene at the residence over the weekend.

“We don’t have a final answer on it yet. We probably won’t for a few days.”

Kingston Police continue to ask anyone who may have witnessed the incident or have information about the fire to contact Detective Constable Anthony Hampton at 613-549-4660 ext. 6438 or via email at [email protected].

Kingston Fire and Rescue crews attempt to enter the top floor of the house at 895 Montreal Street as part of early rescue efforts after a fire broke out at the residence on the night of Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023. Photo by Kingstonist.

Update (Friday, Mar. 31, 2023, at 11:15 a.m.):
One of the individuals taken to the hospital in critical condition following the residential fire on Montreal Street last night has passed away.

Kingston Police announced the death in a press release at 11:15 a.m. on Friday, Mar. 31, 2023, just over 12 hours after the fire initially broke out.

“As a result of the fire two individuals were transported to hospital in critical condition. One of the individuals was pronounced deceased at hospital while the other remains in hospital in critical condition,” police said.

“The cause of the fire is still under investigation and the Kingston Police are working in conjunction with the Ontario Fire Marshalls Office, Coroner’s Office and Kingston Fire and Rescue.”

Kingston Police did not disclose the identity of the deceased person, nor anyone else who suffered injuries as a result of the fire, indicating that any further information on this investigation will be made public by means of a press release at a later time.

As part of the ongoing investigation, police are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or anyone who may have information relating to the fire, to contact Detective Constable Anthony Hampton at 613-549-4660 ext. 6438, or via email at [email protected].

Update (Friday, Mar. 31, 2023, at 10:20 a.m.):
According to Kingston Police, all roadways in the area of Montreal Street impacted by the fire have now been re-opened to traffic.

Original article (Friday, Mar. 31, 2023, at 9:45 a.m.):
Kingston Police and Kingston Fire and Rescue crews remain on scene today after a fire broke out at a house on Montreal Street last night, leading to hours of effort from firefighters to extinguish the blaze.

At approximately 10:23 p.m. on Thursday, Mar. 30, 2023, Kingston Fire and Rescue and Frontenac Paramedic Services were called to an active fire at 895 Montreal Street, near the intersection of Montreal Street and John Counter Boulevard. A total of 11 fire trucks attended the scene throughout the night, with one of those trucks remained on scene this morning, as of 9:30 a.m.

Upon arrival, firefighters faced thick, dark smoke and active flames, as they worked to ensure all occupants were out of the building. Those efforts were hindered by the intense fire, which steadily grew as firefighters’ rescue efforts continued for over half an hour. According to Frontenac Paramedics, three people were taken to hospital – two “in critical condition with burn and inhalation injuries,” and the other with minor injuries.

One Kingston Fire and Rescue firefighter was also injured in the blaze; however, those injuries were minor in nature and were tended to on scene, according to the local fire department.

As crews battled the fire, they were forced to pull back from the building, as total collapse seemed imminent. Luckily, the roof of the building did not collapse, and firefighters were able to contain and then eventually extinguish the flames. Nearly 12 hours later, the scene continues to be considered an active fire, with firefighters on scene to monitor for and extinguish hot spots.

As a result of the incident, the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal has been called in to investigate.

Additionally, police closed off roadways in the area, while crews from Utilities Kingston also attended the situation to ensure power was shut off to the building. As of Friday, Mar. 31, 2023, at 9:30 a.m., Montreal Street is closed to traffic from Cassidy Street to John Counter Boulevard, and John Counter Boulevard is closed from Montreal Street to Ascot Lane. All Kingston Transit stops in the immediate area are currently not being used — Montreal St. at John Counter Blvd. and Montreal St. at Village Dr. are out of service until further notice, and Express Route 801/802 and Route 1 are detouring around the area. As well, Tri-Board Transportation relayed that the street closure also prevented Route 252 from reaching all Molly Brant Public School students this morning.

Kingstonist has inquired with the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal as to how long the investigation will take, if the cause of the fire is known, the number of people displaced by the incident, updates on the status of those taken to hospital, and the estimated cost of damages caused. No response was received by time of publication. We will provide further coverage as more information becomes available.

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