May 30, 2023

Man Rescued by Helicopter from Crane After Apartment Complex Fire



A helicopter from CFB Trenton has rescued a man who was trapped on a construction crane by a massive fire in midtown Kingston, Ont.

Dozens of firefighters have descended on the fire at an apartment building under construction in downtown Kingston near Princess Street and Victoria Street. The blaze engulfed a student housing complex currently under construction.

Kingston police say a home near the burning building has caught fire and there is concern for the nearby Howard Johnson hotel as well.


Witnesses say flames are shooting above the building and that large chunks of flaming debris were floating off the building.

Police are asking people to stay at least two blocks away from the scene.

“Please do not endanger yourself or emergency crews on scene for Princess/Victoria St. fire,” the police said in a tweet.

Crews are concerned that the fire could approach a nearby gas station and a public school a few blocks away has been evacuated.

The fire started at about 2:30 p.m.

There is a report that the original structure is “completely levelled at this time.” Also, heavy wind coming from the south.

At 3:45 there was a report of a fire at the Howard Johnson’s and of firefighters pulling walls and ceilings down to get at fire in the walls. As of 4pm, the crane still looks relatively stable.

Power has been shut down in the area of the fire to make it safe for those battling the fire.

The Mayor of Kingston tweeted that “based on unconfirmed reports all construction personal are accounted for and safe.”



The rescue was performed by Griffon Helicopter from 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at 8 Wing Trenton.

“Between the time 424 received the call from the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Trenton and the time the person was rescued was 55 minutes,” said Lt. (Navy) Bettina McCulloch-Drake with 8 Wing Public Affairs at CFB Trenton.

“It was a tower crane operator that was stranded 100 meters above the ground. And the man, he was hoisted aboard the Griffon helicopter and transported to an ambulance.”

The helicopter touched down at an impromptu landing zone nearby and passed the man off to an ambulance where he was transported to a local hospital.

Dramatic Footage:

UPDATED Video: Large fire in Kingston, ON. Man rescued from atop construction crane.

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