FORT WILLIAM FN – Thunder Bay Fire & Rescue (TBFR) responded to a structure fire involving a large vehicle garage near a residential home on Fort William First Nation Reserve at approximately 10:30 am today.
Fort William First Nation Chief Peter Collins has confirmed the fire was on the property of one of his family members.
First arriving crews were met with heavy smoke conditions inside of a garage with heavy fire involving the rear interior of the garage and spreading quickly towards the front half of the garage.
Fire crews wearing self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) were able to stop the advancing fire from extending to the nearby exposed house. The fire damage was confined to the garage. A large amount of smoke was visible in the area while firefighters worked to fight the fire from the exterior with several 45mm attack hose lines.
One person at the scene was examined by EMS for possible smoke inhalation injuries after he attempted to extinguish the fire. The person was later released by EMS at the scene. Firefighters later found a pet cat deceased in the garage.
Cause of the fire is believed to be a wood-burning appliance located within the garage, however, further investigation and scene control were left in the care of the Anishinabek Police Service(APS) who remained on the scene once TBFR terminated command of the incident.
A total of 5 Pumper trucks, 1 Aerial Ladder truck and 1 Command Unit responded to bring this fire under control.
The James Street Bridge which has been out of use for vehicle traffic for years means fire crews have a longer travel time to respond to fires or accidents and other incidents on the Fort William First Nation.