Two dead in major house fire in Woodstock
Two people have died after a multi-unit house fire in Woodstock early Thursday.
Emergency crews were called to 482 McQueen St. just before 6:30 a.m. and found flames and heavy smoke visible upon arrival. A smoke alarm could also be heard ringing.
Clarence Vandebyl escaped the heavily damaged home, but two others in a second floor unit died.
"I tried to go up and check the bed, to see if she was in bed. There was nobody in bed. If she was in bed I would have dragged her down the stairs, but I could find her...so much black smoke, I had to come down myself," he says.
Woodstock Fire Department spokesperson Lisa Wood says crews tried to get everyone out.
"Originally they were able to go inside to remove the one individual, but shortly after they did bring that individual out, flames and smoke became overwhelming and they were unable to return until they brought the fire down under control."
Their names have not been released, but the deceased are believed to be an 80-year-old woman and a 56-year-old man who died in hospital.
The Ontario Fire Marshal's Office has been called in to investigate the cause of blaze, but officials say the fire is not believed to be suspicious.
The body of the woman will remain in the home until a thorough investigation begins Friday.
Damage to the home, which is expected to have to be demolished, is estimated at about $300,000.
McQueen was closed from Finkle Street to Metcalf Street and sections of those roads were also closed for much of the day.
Vandebyl, who lost everything in the fire, is getting assistance from the Red Cross.