'Tragic weekend': 3 dead after fire in Winnipeg rooming house
Published Sunday, February 28, 2016 1:16PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, February 28, 2016 10:14PM EST
The Winnipeg police arson unit is investigating after a fire at a rooming house left three people dead.
Officials say the fire broke out early Sunday morning in the inner-city neighbourhood of Centennial.
Firefighters arrived on scene at approximately 2:30 a.m. and pulled four residents out of the house. Police said two of the residents died and the other two were taken to hospital in critical condition.
Later on Sunday, family members told CTV News’ Jill Macyshon a third victim, a 49-year-old man, had also died.
Leo Jacobs, who witnessed the destruction first-hand, said his brother Melvin died in the blaze.
"It's crazy. I don’t know what life is. I know I care about him. I know I want to say I love him," Jacobs told CTV News.
Jacobs also said his dog died in incident, and his cousin is in hospital recovering from smoke inhalation.
Family members also identified the other victims as two women aged 21 and 20.
Two firefighters sustained non-life-threatening injuries during the rescue, United Fire Fighters of Winnipeg President Alex Forrest said in a tweet. Ten other people living in the house were safely evacuated, and two pets also survived, he said.
"I know I speak for all firefighters, especially the men and women who fought this fire, when I say we are profoundly sad for these deaths," Forrest said on Twitter. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends and the inner city community of Winnipeg."
I know I speak for all Firefighters, especially the men and women who fought this fire when I say We are profoundly sad for these deaths1/2— Alex Forrest (@wpgfirefighter) February 28, 2016
Our thoughts&Prayers go out to the family, friends&the inner city community of Winnipeg-2 Firefighters were hurt but not life threatening2/2— Alex Forrest (@wpgfirefighter) February 28, 2016
In total, about 60 firefighters battled the blaze, and officials remained on the scene into Sunday morning. The Office of the Fire Commissioner was also on scene on Sunday.
The Winnipeg police arson unit is now investigating the deadly blaze.
The incident marks the second deadly rooming house fire in Winnipeg in the past week. A woman died in an earlier fire on Friday.
IIn a Tweet, Forrest said the last few days have been a "tragic weekend" in the city.
In 2011, a rooming house fire in Winnipeg's inner city also killed five people.
With files from CTV Winnipeg and a report from CTV News' Jill Macyshon