No foul play in fire death, police say

An investigation of a Feb. 20 house fire has determined a Hamilton man died of smoke inhalation.
Crews work to extinguish spot fires at a house on Cannon Street East in Hamilton. (Cory Ruf/CBC)

Police have determined there was no foul play in the death of a Hamilton man following a house fire last week.

The victim, a 24-year-old who lived in the house, died from smoke inhalation, according to a release from the Hamilton police service homicide unit.

Around 4 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 20, fire crews rushed to 249 Cannon St. E after receiving reports of fire and smoke coming from the first floor.

Nobody was in the house when emergency crews arrived. The victim had escaped the building, but was transported to hospital in critical condition and died from his injuries later that day.

Though he wouldn't give specific details, Hamilton Emergency Medical Services spokesperson Jevon Towns said the victim "had extensive injuries caused by the fire that required aggressive treatment."

The investigation was launched after the coroner noticed suspicious injuries on the victim's body. The investigation found that the injuries were the result of the rescue effort and did not factor in his death.

Investigators also determined that the fire started in the victim's bedroom. Although no foul play is suspected, the cause of the blaze is yet to be determined.

"At the height of the fire we had 35 firefighters on scene," said Claudio Mostacci, public information officer for the Hamilton Fire Department. "The fire started on the first floor, then went into the second and into the attic."

A neighbour, who was not at home when the fire broke out, said a group of males in their late teens or early 20s lived at the address.