Three people are dead after a deadly fire gutted a house on Scotia Street Monday night.
Police confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the body of one victim had been removed from the scene, and two others had been located.
Firefighters had not been able to enter the burned-out home early Tuesday due to concerns about its structural integrity.
Neighbours said three people lived in the house — a 96-year-old widow and her two adult children, both in their 60s.
Fire trucks, ambulances and emergency vehicles encircled the home at 108 Scotia Street, located at the corner of Scotia Street and Luxton Avenue, until the wee hours of the morning. Fire officials are still on the scene.
The investigation is being turned over to the provincial fire commissioner's office and Winnipeg police.
Late Monday, a spokesman with the fire department said the blaze was well involved when firefighters got to the scene.
“What we have when we got here at 9:30 (p.m.) was a first and second storey completely involved,” said Bill Clark, Winnipeg Fire Department’s assistant chief of operation.
Clark said one person was pulled out of the home. He wouldn’t say if there were other people trapped in the house.
Ambulances arrived at the scene shortly after 9:30 and by 11:45 p.m., they hadn’t left. Paramedics were seen opening body-sized bags and pulling stretchers onto the sidewalk.
The city’s emergency measures bus was also at the scene.
Neighbour Judith Raffaeli, who sat in front of her picture window on Luxton watching the fire, said she believed all three of her friends were dead.
“They had a very hard life, the brother, the sister and the mother,” Raffaeli said. “My heart aches. It’s terrible.”
“People have died. It’s very sad,” added an emotional Shifra Tobiasch, Raffaeli’s daughter.
Alex Forrest, United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg president, said late Monday firefighters were maxed out in efforts to put out blazes in two areas of the city.
Besides the Scotia blaze, he said firefighters were working in the Henderson area to put out another blaze. Temperatures as low as -31 C, -37C with wind chill, a
“Resources are being stretched to the maximum,” he said. “It’s one of those crazy nights where everything is happening at once... This has been a very, very tough winter for firefighters.”
Forrest said February is particularly poignant because Feb. 4 is the second anniversary of a fatal fire that killed 55-year-old Capt. Harold Lessard and 57-year-old Capt. Thomas Nichols at a flashover on Place Gabrielle Roy.
Four other firefighters were injured in the blaze.