On Wednesday night Abbotsford Emergency Services responded to a structure fire located in the 2400 block of Countess St. Upon arrival, Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) crews found two units of the three-story structure fully engulfed. A number of tenants had evacuated to exterior balconies and were unable to exit further. Initial fire crews attempted to confine the fire while additional members engaged in multiple ladder rescues from balconies. After tenants had been escorted to a safe collection area, fire crews transitioned to an interior firefighting effort. Additional individuals were found and escorted from the 1st and 2nd floors. After the fire was under control, secondary search crews located a female in her 60s in her suite. The female was attended by the BC Ambulance Service but sadly succumbed to her injures a short time later. Multiple family pets were removed from the building and returned to owners. The fire damage to 3rd floor units is extensive, with additional smoke and water damage to multiple units on the 1st and 2nd floors. AFRS responded with approximately 8 units and over 40 Members. Other emergency services and support agencies responded, including the Abbotsford Police Department, BC Ambulance Service, Emergency Social Services, Salvation Army volunteers, BC Hydro and Fortis Gas.

Crews remain on scene today to control and extinguish hot spots. Abbotsford Police Department Major Crime Detectives, the AFRS and the BC Coroners Service continue their investigations this morning. This does not appear to be a suspicious fire at this time.

The Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service and the Abbotsford Police Department extend their sincere condolences to the family and friends of the female who passed away in this fire. Anyone with information regarding this fire is asked to contact the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service at 604-853-3566, or the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.

***Photos Courtesy of Kevin MacDonald from KAM Productions***