Careless smoking sparks Hamilton apartment fire

·1 min read

Three tenants were treated for minor injuries after a fire in a downtown Hamilton apartment building Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton Police said the 911 call came in just after 5 p.m. to 50 Cathcart St.

Firefighters arrived to find a “well involved” fire inside a fifth-floor apartment, with “heavy smoke” throughout the fourth and fifth floors, said assistant deputy chief Shawn De Jager.

Police said the fire started after a woman fell asleep while smoking on her couch.

She managed to get outside, and was taken to hospital to be treated for burns on her hands and smoke inhalation.

Firefighters used an aerial ladder to rescue two other tenants on the fifth floor whose apartment had filled with smoke. One person ended up in hospital for further treatment for smoke inhalation.

A photo posted by the Hamilton Fire Department to Twitter shows firefighters working with a ladder truck on a fifth-floor Wellington Place apartment balcony, facing Kelly Street.

By 5:35 p.m. the fire department tweeted that the blaze was out.

Part of the apartment building complex — bound by Wilson Street in the south, Kelly Street in the north, Wellington Street North in the east and Cathcart Street in the west — was evacuated for a couple of hours while firefighters ventilated the building.

The fire caused approximately $50,000 in damages to the apartment, which was left uninhabitable.

No other injuries to firefighters or residents were reported.

De Jager said residents have been allowed back into the building.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator