Man hospitalized after Gloucester Street fire

An upstairs window of a home on Gloucester Street in Cornwall, Ont. is badly damaged after a fire Wednesday, March 9, 2016. One person was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A man has been taken to hospital, suffering from smoke inhalation, after a fire at a two-storey home on Gloucester Street Wednesday morning.

Firefighters, paramedics and police were called to 22 Gloucester, south of Water Street, around 9 a.m.

The home is described by neighbours as a rooming house and five or six people were living there.

“I went to get my paper and when I turned the corner there I saw the smoke and I just told my wife to call 911. Then the fire started to come out from the window there…it was burning a hell of a lot,” Ron Gelineau told Cornwall Newswatch, pointing to an upstairs window.

“There was a guy inside there that was sleeping and they (the firefighters) caught him,” Gelineau said.

Acting Platoon Chief Jeff Lauzon said they had heavy black smoke coming out of the building when they arrived.

“We had a trapped victim in the rear of the building … and we started positive pressure ventilation and started (fire) suppression activities and rescued him at the back,” Lauzon said.

“We laddered the building and we had to open up the (window) pane and we pulled him out. He self-rescued as well. He got on to the ladder and was supported by the firefighter coming down,” Lauzon told CNW.

In addition to smoke inhalation, Lauzon believes the victim had several cuts on his arms from the window.

Besides the rescue of the man, Lauzon said everybody else was out of the building when they went in.

The Cornwall Red Cross was on scene to help the fire victims, who won’t be able to go back to the building.

As for the home, it has extensive damage concentrated in the upper floor.

“It’s called balloon construction. There’s not a lot of fire stops in the walls so, certainly by main concern was extension into the attic,” Lauzon said of fighting the fire.

The fire prevention office is investigating to determine a cause.

A section of Water Street from Adolphus Street to Marlborough Street had been closed for most of the morning.

Click below to see more pictures from the fire scene.