ON Wednesday, March 6 at 10:29 p.m., Abbotsford Emergency Services responded to a structure fire located in the 2400-block of Countess Street.
Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) crews found two units of the three-story structure fully engulfed. A number of tenants had evacuated to exterior balconies and were unable to exit further.
Fire crews attempted to confine the fire while additional members engaged in multiple ladder rescues from balconies. After tenants had been escorted to a safe collection area, fire crews transitioned to an interior firefighting effort. Additional individuals were found and escorted from the first and second floors.
After the fire was under control, secondary search crews located a female in her 60s in her suite. The female was attended by the BC Ambulance Service but succumbed to her injures a short time later.
Multiple family pets were removed from the building and returned to owners.
The fire damage to third floor units is extensive, with additional smoke and water damage to multiple units on the first and second floors.
AFRS responded with approximately eight units and over 40 members. Other emergency services and support agencies responded, including the Abbotsford Police Department, BC Ambulance Service, Emergency Social Services, Salvation Army volunteers, BC Hydro and Fortis Gas.
AFRS crews remain on scene on Thursday to control and extinguish hot spots. Abbotsford Police Department Major Crime Detectives, the AFRS and the BC Coroners Service continue their investigations. This does not appear to be a suspicious fire at this time.
Anyone with information regarding this fire is asked to contact the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service at 604-853-3566, or the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.