Winnipeg rooming house fire claims 5th victim

Accused Lulonda Lynn Flett, 40, had been ordered by the courts to stay away from her sister-in-law, Lynette Harper, who escaped the fire.

Accused ordered to stay away from home resident

Five people have died as a result of a fire at this rooming house on Austin Street North in Winnipeg. (CBC)

A fifth person has died after a rooming house was torched on the weekend in Winnipeg's Point Douglas neighbourhood.

Robert Curtis Laforte, 56, had been in critical condition since the Saturday blaze at the 2½-storey home at 288 Austin St. N. but succumbed to his injuries, police said on Monday.

Six adults were taken to hospital in critical condition and four were pronounced dead soon after.

Lulonda Lynn Flett, 40, now faces five counts of second-degree murder and three counts of attempted murder. Flett had been ordered by the courts to stay away from her sister-in-law, Lynette Harper, who escaped the fire.

Court records show Flett was handed a conditional sentence last week on assault charges after pleading guilty to participating with another woman in a 2009 attack on Harper.

Flett, with no prior criminal record, was to take an anger management course.

Harper was among eight people in the house at the time of the fire. She escaped unscathed along with another resident Marie Flett. The remaining fatalities, all from Winnipeg, are identified as:

  • Norman Darius Anderson, 22
  • Maureen Claire Harper, 54
  • Kenneth Bradley Monkman, 49
  • Dean James Stranden, 44

One man, Bradley Anderson, remains in hospital. He was listed in critical condition but has since been upgrade to stable.

Fire officials have said the blaze likely started near the front entrance, possibly on the veranda, blocking an obvious escape route. The front of the structure was engulfed when firefighters arrived.

Neighbours told CBC News that the rooming house is often home to people struggling with addictions.

Officials said the house had 13 rooms and that they believed people were also sleeping in the basement.