NEWS

Body pulled from scene of Hamilton house explosion

12/11/2013 01:38 EST | Updated 02/10/2014 05:59 EST
The Ontario Fire Marshal's office has confirmed that a body was found in the wreckage of the Wilson Street home levelled by explosion and fire Monday.

A victim was pulled from the home just before 4 p.m. today, an OFM spokesperson said. At this point there is no identification of the victim.

The coroner's office is now involved to determine the cause of death and assist with identification.

Officially, the tenant of the home, who neighbours identified as Lynn Kingsbury, was listed as missing yesterday, said Debbie McGreal, spokesperson for Hamilton Police.

Some neighbours had continued to hope the resident had survived, with some indicating since Monday they thought she might have left the home shortly before the fire. 

Around 12:30 p.m. Monday, neighbours said they heard a loud bang that sounded like a car crash, then saw shattered glass from the window on the street and the house across from Jack C. Beemer Park on fire. Hamilton Fire said the house collapsed about half an hour after firefighters arrived.

In addition to the potential search for a body, the OFM is investigating the home to determine what caused the explosion and fire. OFM investigator Richard Derstroff said it's a slow process.

Investigators discovered Wednesday the water was left running in the basement after the fire.

“We’ve got some water issues, the water might be contaminated. We have to test it. If its contaminated, we have to get it pumped out into a truck,” he said.

Derstroff said investigators haven’t made any progress in determining the cause of the explosion, but told CBC Hamilton they ruled out Tuesday natural gas up to the home’s exterior.

While the investigation is continues, neighbours who knew Kingsbury spoke fondly of her.

“She’s a lovely lady,” said Steve Brady, who lives on Victoria Street North, kitty corner to the home Kingsbury lived in. “My daughter knows her because she has a couple little dogs and we have a dog, and they’d meet in the park sometimes and talk.”

Debra Galvin, whose home shares a back alley way with the collapsed house, said Kingsbury is in her 60s and had been renting the home for about a year and a half. As far as she knew, Kingsbury was currently unemployed.

“Every time I went by and she was sitting out in front, I would pet her cats. She used to leash the cats and they’d be sitting outside,” Galvin said. “She was really friendly, really nice.”

Brady said the last time he spoke to Kingsbury, she was preparing for the holidays.

“She was so happy and couldn’t wait for Christmas,” Brady said. “It’s a shame unfortunately.”

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