The B.C. Coroners Service has confirmed girl in her 60s died in an condominium fireplace on Craigflower Street in Esquimalt on Sunday.
Witnesses reported seeing a lady screaming for assist from a fourth-floor balcony as smoke billowed from the condominium home windows shortly earlier than four p.m. The witnesses say a gaggle of bystanders tried to coax the aged girl to leap right into a blanket beneath, however she appeared too afraid to make the leap.
Esquimalt Hearth Chief Chris Jancowski mentioned he was unable to say what occurred to the girl, however acknowledged that one occupant of the condominium advanced stays lacking.
“We’ll be investigating shortly to verify whether or not one thing probably unhealthy occurred,” he mentioned.
Jancowski mentioned quite a few different residents of the constructing sustained minor accidents whereas they had been being rescued from the fourth flooring.
The reason for the fireplace stays underneath investigation.
Daniel Woods, 26, mentioned he was sitting on the sofa in a home throughout the road when he observed black smoke billowing from the higher flooring of the Lindsay Place condominium advanced at 843 Craigflower Rd.
He alerted his father, Rollie, who mentioned that by that point different folks had been already stopped on the road, calling 911.
“It had clearly simply began as a result of the smoke was simply popping out of the aspect window and the entrance window and the balcony,” Rollie Woods mentioned. “After which a lady got here out on the (fourth-floor) balcony. She clearly was looking for refuge from the fireplace. At the moment we couldn’t see any flames, however a substantial quantity of smoke.”
Woods mentioned quite a few motorists and other people from the neighbourhood grabbed a blanket and had been encouraging the aged girl to leap.
“You could possibly see that the flames had been beginning to come out the home windows, however sadly — and I’m undecided whether or not she would have survived the soar or not — she couldn’t convey herself (to leap),” he mentioned. “She was wanting over the balcony, however she couldn’t convey herself to leap.”
A short while later, the home windows burst and flames had been taking pictures out onto the balcony, he mentioned.
“I give loads of credit score to these of us who had been making an attempt to assist her. There have been most likely 10 guys that had this blanket they usually had been making an attempt to get her to come back out the window and are available over the balcony.
“I’m uncertain whether or not that may have actually helped her, however they actually risked their very own security to attempt to assist her. On the finish of the day they couldn’t persuade her to make the leap.”
Robert Blanchet, who occurred to be driving alongside Craigflower when he recognizing smoke billowing from the condominium, confirmed Woods’s model of occasions.
“I instantly known as 911 and one other man on the road was calling them,” he mentioned. “I bought by way of then and gave them as a lot info as a I may.”
Blanchet mentioned he may see a lady on the balcony and a gaggle of individuals beneath making an attempt to coax the girl to leap right into a blanket.
“However she was too afraid to leap,” he mentioned. “It’s nearly 40 toes.”
Jancowski praised the bystanders who tried to rescue the girl.
“Anytime you have got civilians making an attempt to assist civilians in grave conditions like this, it’s to be applauded,” he mentioned. “Their actions to attempt to coax her, to assist her and help her in a time of want is drastically appreciated.”
Jancowski mentioned it took about 30 minutes to include the fireplace. “A number of suites had been concerned,” he mentioned. “I consider the depth of the fireplace was in a single unit, but it surely unfold to a second unit.”
He mentioned Esquimalt was assisted by fireplace departments from View Royal, CFB Esquimalt and Victoria.
— With information from The Canadian Press