Nicole Belair, fatal fire victim, was 'impossible to forget'

The co-workers of a woman killed in an apartment building fire on Monday are already thinking of ways to pay tribute to her.

Children's Aid Society worker, 33, was killed in Hanmer apartment building blaze

Nicole Belair, 33, died in hospital in 2014 of injuries after a fire at an apartment building in Hanmer. (Facebook)

The co-workers of a woman killed in an apartment building fire on Monday are already thinking of ways to pay tribute to her.

Nicole Belair, a 33-year-old child protection worker, was visiting a client at an apartment in the Hanmer area of Sudbury when a fire broke out. Belair was found unconscious on the second floor and did not survive.

The executive director of the Children's Aid Society, Colette Prevost described the young woman as engaging and endearing.
On Monday a 16-unit apartment building in Hanmer was the scene of a fire that displaced dozens of residents. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

“We will find a way for us to remember Nicole. Actually, [it] would be impossible for us to forget her,” she said.

“But we will do something that will honour Nicole in a way that really anchored her in this community.”

Prevost said Belair was the kind of employee who made a difference in the lives of her clients.

“She was a very endearing person, someone who engaged you once you first knew her, and she will be sorely, sorely missed.”

Belair's funeral will be held on Monday.

Reports of explosion

A second victim in the fire — a 59-year-old woman — is in a Toronto hospital suffering from burns to her head and torso.     

Investigators have not yet pinpointed a cause of the blaze, although the Ontario Fire Marshal is examining some oxygen tanks and a refrigerator for signs they may have played a role.
James Allen with the Ontario Fire Marshal's Office is conducting the investigation into the Hanmer apartment building fire. (Hilary Duff/CBC)

James Allan said a tenant of the apartment where the fire began was using oxygen tanks.

Investigators have seized those, and are following up reports of an explosion.

“We have indications from witnesses of hearing a bang, so we are investigating witness statements,” he said.


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