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Structure fire at 81 Duke Street

HAMILTON, ON – Hamilton firefighters were dispatched to a structure fire at 81 Duke Street this morning at 5:06 a.m. This is a three-storey walk up apartment building (79-81 Duke Street) with 10 units per side.

Upon arrival firefighters encountered heavy fire conditions in a first-floor apartment. Initial reports indicated that there was an individual still inside the unit; firefighters attempted to enter the apartment to conduct search and rescue but were driven back by high heat and flames. The person in question was eventually discovered to be outside of the building.

While attempting to search for the occupant of the apartment, three firefighters suffered heat/smoke related injuries and were transported to hospital. Two of those firefighters were treated and have been released from hospital. The third firefighter has been admitted to hospital and is undergoing additional treatment. In addition, the tenant of the apartment involved was also transported to hospital with smoke inhalation injuries.

An aggressive fire attack contained the bulk of the fire to the involved and adjoining units. There is significant smoke and heat damage throughout the building. Damage is estimated at approximately $500,000. Due to the significant damage, all tenants of 81 Duke Street will not be permitted back in their units and are being assisted by the Red Cross with alternative accommodations.

The Ontario Fire Marshal has been contacted to have an Investigator attend the scene to determine origin and cause of the fire.