Hamilton’s fire department responded to a fire at 168 King Street East in Downtown Hamilton last night.
A homeless woman has been living irregularly in the recessed doorway of the vacant building for the past few months.
Hamilton Fire units were first dispatched from nearby Station 1 at 8:26 p.m. The fire was quickly upgraded to a multiple alarm response at approximately five minutes later.
On scene, shortly after the fire began, Hamilton Police sergeants stated a witness in a restaurant across the street saw the woman running away shortly after the fire began.
The Hamilton Fire Department Deputy Chief at the scene declined to comment, stating the Fire Department will issue an official statement by email in the morning.
On scene firefighters, who are not authorized to speak to the media, described a well-involved fire upon arrival. They describe an aggressive entry into the building to conduct a primary search for any persons inside and internal firefighting to contain the fire.
They stated nobody was found inside the building.
Fire operations continued well into the early morning hours.
The fire was successfully contained to the building, which is gutted inside. It did not spread into the rear attached accessory structure.
Police stated they were searching for the homeless woman to confirm her well-being.
This event is sure to cause further discussion regarding the response to homelessness.
As of 3:00 a.m. on December 20, no official statements have been issued by emergency services officials.
Production Details v. 1.0.0 Published: December 20, 2022 Last edited: December 20, 2022 Author: Joey Coleman Edit Record v. 1.0.0 original version