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BEYOND LOCAL: Video shows ferocity of fatal morning fire in Guelph

Ontario Fire Marshal is now investigating to determine what caused fire that left two Guelph women dead

The tragic fire that killed two women early Monday morning and rattled a Guelph townhouse community was caught on camera by a neighbour.

Two women lost their lives as a result of a blaze in one of the units at 383 Edinburgh Rd. S., while two others were treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries.

Neighbours were stunned.

Annette Whitaker, who lives two units over from where the fire happened, was watching a movie with her boyfriend, when a “loud bang” at the door alerted them to get out due to the fire.

The two gathered their six cats and got outside.

“That’s when we saw the fire was just going,” she said. “As we were standing out here, kind of watching everything happen, a neighbour mentioned that she heard the man yelling for his family.

“The poor guy was just looking for his wife and his daughter. It was really scary, because we didn’t really know what was going on, where it started.”

Allan Bumanglag said his unit was evacuated for less than an hour before he was able to go back in safely, indicating the fire was contained to the one unit.

Those living in the same townhouse block were evacuated temporarily.


Many others living in the complex, like Lisa Buffett, only became aware of the fire after waking up this morning.

“Quite surprised,” she reacted. “I’ve been here for several years, and there’s never been a fire.

“The buildings are maintained very well, and it’s just a quiet community. It’s really shocking.”

“Our whole parking lot over there was filled with smoke,” added Jamie Richards, who lives in a neighbouring building. “I could smell it in my building, so we were a little bit worried.”

She said her boyfriend went over and witnessed numerous fire trucks and other first responders on the scene.

“We’re sad that things happened the way they did,” Richards said.


Guelph Fire chief Brian Arnold said the call came in around 12:38 a.m. for a single family residential fire with people trapped.

“Upon our arrival, heavy fire and smoke was visible,” he said in a prepared statement. “Two occupants had self-evacuated, while two others were reported to still be inside.”

He said firefighters went in under dangerous conditions, and fought their way to the second floor to rescue two occupants.

One of the women was pronounced dead at the scene. The other later succumbed to their injuries, Arnold confirmed.

“On behalf of Guelph Fire Department, I extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victims of this tragic event,” he said.

Arnold commended the work of the Guelph Fire team for performing admirably “under very difficult and stressful conditions.”

Support is being provided to staff members amid the tragedy.

Arnold also wanted to remind residents to test and ensure you have working smoke alarms on all floors of your home, and to practice a home escape plan.

It’s unclear if the home had working smoke alarms at the time.

The Ontario Fire Marshal is leading the investigation.