2 firefighters sent to hospital after downtown fire spreads to homes

Two Hamilton firefighters were sent to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation Tuesday afternoon after a fire spread to three homes and a garage.
Three homes and a garage burned in a fire in downtown Hamilton Tuesday afternoon. (David Ritchie/CBC)

Two Hamilton firefighters were sent to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation Tuesday afternoon after a fire damaged three homes and a detached garage.

Emergency calls started coming in about a fire burning in the area of Wilson Street and Emerald Street North at around 4 p.m., said Fire Chief Dave Cunliffe.

Firefighters on trucks heading to the scene could see thick smoke billowing in the distance, he said. On arrival, they saw smoke and heavy fire, as flames had spread to three homes in the area, plus a garage.

First responders were told that someone could still be inside one of the homes, so they rushed inside.

"Crews were going through a home with heavy fire," Cunliffe said. That person was eventually located outside the home.

Two firefighters were sent to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, Cunliffe said. They were both conscious and talking as they were loaded into ambulances.

Fire crews were able to douse the flames, but it's not yet clear where or how exactly the fire started.

A dollar figure for damages is expected to be significant, Cunliffe said, but it's too soon to make a firm estimate.

The local fire department will be notifying the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal about the incident, due to the injuries sustained by local crews and the expected dollar value of the fire, he said.