Windsor

SIU investigates deadly fire that also sent 3 police to hospital

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is investigating the circumstances of a deadly house fire in Windsor, Ont.

'Despite several of our officers' valiant efforts, the resident of this home succumbed to his injuries'

Facebook user Rick Bruce posted this photo of the Ford Boulevard fire that killed a person and sent three Windsor police officers to hospital with smoke inhalation. (Rick Bruce/Facebook)

Ontario's Special Investigations Unit is investigating the circumstances of a deadly house fire in Windsor, Ont.

One person died and three Windsor police officers were sent to hospital after a home exploded in the border city, early Tuesday morning.

The explosion happened in the 1000 block of Ford Boulevard, just south of Raymond Avenue and across the street from Princess Elizabeth School.

"We got the call as a situation, that's all I can basically say at this time," Windsor Police Service Staff Sgt. Matt D'Asti said on scene. "When they arrived on scene, there was an active fire There was a situation. They responded here. There was a fire."

The officers were treated for smoke inhalation and released sometime around 8 a.m. Tuesday.

"They're doing well," D'Asti said. "Despite several of our officers' valiant efforts, the resident of this home succumbed to his injuries."

D'Asti doesn't know whether the officers tried to enter the home.

Windsor police Chief Al Frederick was at the Ouellette campus of Windsor Region Hospital with his injured officers.​

Windsor police officers were on scene before the fire department arrived. Normally, two people live in the home, officials told Radio-Canada. At the time of the incident, one person was inside and later died.

"The SIU has invoked its mandate. So, any other further inquiries will be directed to the SIU at this time. This becomes their investigation. We're here to cooperate with them, fully," D'Asti said.

The SIU is a civilian law enforcement agency, independent of the police, that conducts criminal investigations into circumstances involving police and civilians that have resulted in serious injury, death or allegations of sexual assault.

Windsor Fire and Rescue said a call for a house fire came in at 4:09 a.m. and quickly spread. Firefighters were forced to take a defensive fight against the flames.

Just before 7:30 a.m., chief prevention officer John Lee said in a tweet that there was "extensive damage" to the home and garage at 1022 Ford Blvd. The home at 1028 Ford Blvd. was also damaged.

An investigator from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal will look into the incident.

Total damage is estimated to be $320,000.

An investigator from the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal will look into a house fire on Ford Boulevard. (Marine Lefevre/Radio-Canada)