A joint investigation by Lethbridge Police and Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services has determined the death of a 50-year-old man over the weekend to be non-criminal.
On July 20, 2019 at approximately 1:30 a.m. fire fighters from all four stations responded to a report of structure fire at a home along the 600 block of 5 Street South. Upon arrival, crews found no visible flames and limited smoke coming from the door to the basement suite. When fire fighters entered they were met with heavy smoke and a small amount of flames. The fire was quickly extinguished and a male occupant of the basement suite was located inside. The 50-year-old man was transported to Chinook Regional Hospital in life-threatening condition and later succumbed to his injuries. A dog was also found deceased inside the home. A 24-year-old female occupant of the main floor suite escaped without injury.
Following further investigation by Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services, fire investigators determined the fire was accidental and started in the kitchen.
An autopsy was completed Monday at the Medical Examiner’s office in Calgary. There is no evidence to suggest foul play and the matter has been deemed non-criminal, pending toxicology results. As the death is non-criminal LPS will not be releasing the identity of the victim or any further information.
Fire and Emergency Services is reminding all residents and homeowners to ensure every secondary suite is safe in the event of an emergency. Three important safety features to keep in mind are ensuring basement bedroom windows are unobstructed and large enough for anyone to get through, smoke alarms are interconnected and located in every bedroom and all exits are clear of debris and lead directly outside.
Chief Fire Marshall Heath Wright and A/Insp. Pete Christos will be available for media interviews today at 10 a.m. at Fire Headquarters. This will be the only opportunity for on-camera interviews.