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UPDATE: Woman dies after Friday morning blaze in downtown Midland (4 photos)

Firefighters rescue two occupants from roof, a third from inside burning building

A woman taken to hospital following a Friday morning structure fire in downtown Midland has died.

"The injured were triaged and transported to an area hospital by County of Simcoe Paramedic Services for treatment," an OPP release stated later Friday.

"Sadly, a 51-year-old female of Midland has succumbed to her injuries suffered in the fire."

Midland fire chief Paul Ryan said crews were initially called to the Dominion Avenue address shortly after 9 a.m. after receiving reports of a fully engulfed a structure fire.

“We received reports of heavy smoke and that people were inside,” Ryan told MidlandToday. “And when crews arrived, they confirmed those conditions. They activated mutual aid for assistance.”

According to Ryan, firefighters quickly ascertained that three people were trapped inside the two-storey building located between King Street and Midland Avenue. The building has apartments on the second floor and a bait and tackle shop at ground level.

Ryan said two of the building’s occupants were rescued from the roof using an aerial truck dispatched from the Penetanguishene fire department.

The third occupant was rescued by firefighters from inside the burning building and rushed to Georgian Bay General Hospital with unspecified injuries.

“And then as the fire progressed, additional crews from Tiny and Tay were called in to provide support,”  Ryan said, noting that additional crews remain on standby at the Penetanguishene and Midland fire halls in the event firefighters need to be dispatched to other incidents.

Ryan said that while the cause of the fire is not yet known, the Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) has been notified as is standard practice "because there were people inside the house."

“We haven't heard yet whether the OFM is going to come and investigate,” Ryan added.

But later Friday afternoon, the OPP said in a release that the OFM will be conducting an investigation with local fire services to determine the cause of the blaze.

According to the police report, "two sharp-eye OPP officers" patrolling downtown noticed the fire and immediately called for fire services, prior to using their fire extinguishers in an attempt to reach the trapped apartment dwellers.

"The officers were successful in locating and removing one male apartment occupant," police said, noting that two OPP officers were treated at hospital for smoke inhalation.

"The fire has been extinguished resulting in the structure suffering significant damage from the fire."

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Andrew Philips

About the Author: Andrew Philips

Editor Andrew Philips is a multiple award-winning journalist whose writing has appeared in some of the country‚Äôs most respected news outlets. Originally from Midland, Philips returned to the area from Québec City a decade ago.
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