Coaldale RCMP investigating fatal apartment fire

By Aaron Mahoney (@Mahones93 on Twitter)
January 4, 2019 - 5:51am Updated: January 4, 2019 - 11:37am

COALDALE - A situation that began with RCMP members responding to a 9-1-1 complaint of a woman in distress around 1 a.m. on Friday, Jan 4, in Coaldale, turned into a fatality.

The distress call came from a three-storey apartment building on 19th Street and 23rd Avenue in Coaldale, but Sgt. Glenn Henry says the initial call that came into the RCMP was from someone who was in distress at the apartment, but they had no indication what that distress was at that point. 

“The fire department was called by the RCMP after we had arrived on scene. What happened was the 9-1-1 call came in from the person in the apartment, but we had no contact with them.”

Officers attempted entry to the third-floor apartment, but a wall of thick smoke prevented access, indicating the apartment was engulfed in fire.

The Coaldale Fire Department was able to rescue the elderly female occupant inside who was unresponsive. 

“They took her out and the ambulance crew was outside on scene trying medical intervention for about an hour, but unfortunately the woman was declared deceased at the scene,” Henry said. 

Coaldale RCMP and Coaldale Fire Department personnel will work together along with the Calgary Medical Examiners Office to determine the cause of the death and fire.

The family of the deceased woman has been notified but, her name will not be released.

Henry says at this point, they still don’t know the cause of the fire.

“It’s still under investigation, but we don’t feel foul play is here and until we complete a thorough investigation, we won’t comment further on that.”

At the time of the fire, RCMP members evacuated the building and residents stayed outside for a number of hours until the fire department put the fire out and ensured the building was safe. 

Most residents at the senior’s apartment complex were then allowed to return as the fire was contained primarily to one apartment. 

“It’s my understanding that some of the suites are damaged, some are not,” Henry explained. “Some people will be able to stay, and some, unfortunately, will have to relocate for the time being.”

The investigation is ongoing.

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