September 22, 2023


St. Catharines firefighters pulled a woman out of her northeast city home Monday night after a kitchen fire caused heavy smoke.


Deputy Fire Chief Dave Wood said firefighters were called to the raised bungalow at 8:44 p.m. by a neighbour who heard the smoke alarm activate.


Crews arrived at 55 Rochelle Dr. and found heavy smoke. A woman was found unconscious or semi-conscious in the home’s living room.


“There was quite a bit of smoke throughout the kitchen, living room and hallway,” Wood said.


Niagara Emergency Medical Services said the woman, in her 50s, suffered smoke inhalation and first and second degree burns. She was conscious and talking to paramedics. They transported her to hospital for treatment.


The family’s two dogs were found uninjured after a search, Wood said. One was in the garage while the second was in the home hiding behind a hutch. The Lincoln County Humane Society was called in and took the dogs overnight while the family visited the hospital.


Wood said the fire started in the kitchen at the back of the house. It was extinguished and firefighters used thermal imaging cameras to make sure there weren’t any hot spots in the walls and attic area.


A portion of Rochelle Dr. was blocked off for multiple fire trucks.


Fire prevention officers were still on scene at the raised bungalow just before 11 p.m. looking into the cause of the fire.


Wood said the incident serves as a reminder that residents should have smoke alarms on every level of their homes — it’s a St. Catharines bylaw. He said they should also practice an escape plan so everybody can get out safely.

As well, he said cooking should never be left unattended.

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