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One dead in fire at Kanata seniors' residence

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Ottawa police have confirmed that one person has died after a fire broke out in a seniors' residence in Kanata late Friday night.

Firefighters were called to 231 Penfield Dr. at 11:19 p.m. when they received an alert from the building's alarm company.

There was smoke in the first floor hallway when firefighters arrived two minutes later. Firefighters found a man without vital signs in the apartment where the fire originated and brought him outside. Despite performing CPR and being able to get the victim's pulse back, the individual died in hospital.

The victim, who was in his 60s, has not been publicly identified.

In a post on X, Ottawa Fire Chief Paul Hutt offered his condolences to the victim's family and friends.

The fire was under control by 11:30 p.m.

Belinda Demers, who lives in the apartment next door to where the fire started, said she was just heading to bed when the fire broke out.

"I opened the door a bit and there was smoke," she said. "I shut the door; I didn't know what to do. A few minutes later the smoke detectors went off and then I heard the sirens."

She said she watched as firefighters brought the victim outside and performed CPR.

"They got his heart going and then the ambulance came and they took him," she said. "It's so sad to know that he passed away." 

The Seniors' home is an Ottawa Community Housing (OCH) building. In a statement, OCH said it is supporting tenants and offering any assistance it can to the investigation into the fire.

"The health and safety of tenants is Ottawa Community Housing’s top priority. On the evening of January 5, 2024, Ottawa Fire Services confirmed an active fire and OCH staff were on site immediately to engage with partners and help assist tenants as needed," the statement said. 

"Our thoughts are with the family and the loved ones of the person who perished in this tragic fire and the entire community during this difficult time... OCH continues to support tenants, and fully cooperate with emergency services including the Ottawa Police Service, Ottawa Fire Services and the Office of the Ontario Fire Marshal in their ongoing investigation. We thank all the first responders for their swift action."

Ottawa Fire Services says the Ontario Fire Marshal will be leading the investigation into the fatal fire, with Ottawa Fire Services and the Ottawa Police Arson Unit assisting.

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Jackie Perez.

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