THUNDER BAY – One person is dead after being found inside a vacant south-side home that was on fire.
Thunder Bay Fire Rescue personnel responded to a fire on the 300 block of Bethune Street around 3:30 a.m. on Thursday, where they found a fire in the kitchen area. Firefighters located a victim in an adjacent bedroom and that person was taken by paramedics to hospital, where the victim was subsequently pronounced dead.
Neither the identity of the victim nor the cause of death have been publicly released by fire officials.
A neighbour, who lives across the street, said he called 911 after smelling smoke. The house, which has a sign on the front lawn listing it for sale, had seemingly been vacant for at least eight months, the neighbour added.
The Office of the Fire Marshal is leading the investigation, with assistance from the city fire department’s investigators.
“We de-layer all the debris that’s in there and we’ll be looking for any sort of ignition source. We’re looking for what the fuel load is and determining where the origin and what the cause of the fire was,” Fire Marshal’s Office investigator Andrea Gaynor said, adding that evidence seized from the house will be sent to the Centre of Forensic Sciences for testing.
Despite being vacant, Gaynor said energy was still supplied to the house.
The Thunder Bay Police Service’s forensics unit was also on scene in the afternoon.
“This was a vacant home, for all intents and purposes, so they’re here to investigate why somebody was inside that property,” Gaynor said.
The fire department responded with five pumpers and an aerial ladder, with 22 firefighters.