Baby hurt in Churchill Street house fire; scene under OFM investigation

An investigator from the Ontario Fire Marshal walks with a Cornwall firefighter from the back of a home at 1106 Churchill Street on Sunday, Aug. 18, 2019. The house fire early Saturday morning injured a baby girl, who is at CHEO. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – An infant is at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) with injuries after an early morning house fire on Churchill Street in Cornwall.

All available manpower from Cornwall Fire Services was called around 4 a.m. Saturday to the two storey home at 1106 Churchill – right next door to the Habitat for Humanity build.

“We responded to a house that was fully involved. It fact, it damaged a couple of other properties. It looked like, on our arrival, that this was a fire that seemed to be consuming the exterior of the property,” Fire Chief Pierre Voisine told Cornwall Newswatch.

The cause is under investigation by the Ontario Fire Marshal.

The chief said a family of five – two children and three adults — was able to get out before they arrived, due to having working smoke alarms.

“The indication that I have right now, pending the investigation, is that there were working smoke alarms and that is what woke the family up,” Voisine said.

The baby girl was taken to Cornwall Community Hospital by paramedics and then transferred to CHEO. The other members of the family are okay.

The Ontario Fire Marshal was on the scene Sunday afternoon, sifting through debris at the back of the home while the Cornwall Command Center has been set up for the lengthy investigation.

The house is gutted and most of the roof has collapsed.

Voisine said the OFM is called in when there is “significant” injury to a person.

The chief said he waited for the child’s arrival at CHEO Saturday because he was “very concerned for the child” and “I’m hoping that she pulls through.”

“At the time of the investigation, we didn’t suspect any foul play. This was simply because the child was injured from the fire.”