Russell Street fire leaves one person in critical condition

Smoke seeps from the seams of the roof of a duplex on Russell Street during a fire on the morning of Tuesday, Jun. 6, 2023. Photo by Kingstonist.

The Ontario Fire Marshall and Kingston Police have been called in to investigate a residential fire that left one person with critical injuries.

At a time when heavy smoke was already hanging in the skies over Kingston due to ongoing wildfires in Greater Madawaska and throughout Quebec, more smoke filled the downtown area after a house fire broke out on the morning of Tuesday, Jun. 6, 2023. Firefighters responding to the fire were able to rescue one person from the burning building, however, that person was immediately taken to hospital.

“This morning, at about 10 minutes before 8 a.m., we received a report of a structure fire here at a residential duplex,” said Delbert Blakney, Fire Inspector with Kingston Fire & Rescue, standing outside the home on Russell Street after the fire had been contained.

“On arrival, firefighters saw heavy smoke as they approached… and flames visible out of the back of the residence. So, firefighters did enter [the home, and] they did remove one person who was transported to hospital in critical condition.”

The blaze was knocked down relatively quickly by Kingston Fire & Rescue crews, as Frontenac Paramedics attended to and transported the patient to hospital. The fire appeared to be centred toward the back of the residence, but Kingston Fire & Rescue aren’t speculating on a cause of the fire at this time, Blakney explained.

“We have not commenced the origin and cause investigation at this point. Because we have a person in critical condition, we’ve contacted the Office of the Fire Marshal and Kingston Police, as is standard protocol if there’s a fatality or serious injury,” he said.

Kingston Police officers could be seen interviewing firefighters on scene, as well as speaking with multiple witnesses.

After taking a moment to remind local residents of the importance of checking and maintaining smoke detectors and taking advantage of the local fire department’s home self-inspection safety checklist available on the City of Kingston website, Blakney turned his attention to the other smoke in the skies.

“Often, when this does occur, and it doesn’t occur very often, but often, our dispatch centers inundated with 911 calls about smoke… people thinking there’s a fire in the area,” he said.

“So, it’s important to let people know [the smoke] is from fires happening in Quebec and near Centennial Lake and the Greater Madawaska area, and then the smoke is, with the low pressure system, obviously coming here pretty heavy.”

Kingstonist will provide further coverage on this house fire and ensuing investigation as more information becomes available.

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