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St. Thomas nursing home fire injures 7 people, more than 40 displaced

Fire injures seven people, displaces 41 residents at St Thomas nursing home
WATCH: Seven people were sent to hospital, including 2 residents after a fire broke out at the Caressant Care nursing home in St Thomas. Kamil Karamali reports.

A fire at a St. Thomas, Ont., nursing home has injured several people, paramedics say.

Emergency crews were called to Caressant Care Bonnie Place around 9:30 p.m. on Saturday.

A bedroom was fully involved, said Bill Todd, chief fire prevention officer of St. Thomas Fire Department.

READ MORE: Elderly man dead after fire at North York seniors’ home

Two residents were critically hurt and transported to hospital, while two other residents were treated for smoke inhalation in hospital.

Two staff members and a firefighter were also taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. They have since been treated and released.

Forty-one residents were displaced by the fire. Some were moved to unaffected areas of the building, while others were relocated to nearby nursing homes, Todd said.

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Stuart Oakley, a spokesperson for Caressant Care Nursing, said residents are coping as best as they can with the help of staff during the unexpected situation.

“They’re comfortable and going through their regular routine, making things as normal as possible for them given the circumstances. We also had a couple of residents that were accommodated at our other nursing home, Mary Bucke, that’s also in St. Thomas,” said Oakley.

Lori Robicheau, who was visiting her 87-year-old mother, a resident with Alzheimer’s at the nursing home, said her mother is settling in well in her temporary home after the fire.

“She’s actually more comfortable than she has been previously. Even the staff commented how wonderfully she acted throughout all the move on the blankets and everything.”

Robicheau said staff have been working nonstop to make residents feel settled despite missing their belongings.

WATCH: Fire Marshal’s office provides details about St. Thomas, Ont. nursing home fire that left several people injured

Fire Marshal’s office provides details about St. Thomas, Ont. nursing home fire that left several people injured
Fire Marshal’s office provides details about St. Thomas, Ont. nursing home fire that left several people injured

So far the Office of the Fire Marshal has been able to isolate the incident to one bedroom, which was equipped with sprinklers.

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“The sprinklers suppressed the fire effectively and stopped it from spreading to other rooms,” said Clive Hubbard, fire investigator with the Office of the Fire Marshal.

Hubbard said the quick action from staff at the home was the appropriate reaction to this situation.

“They very quickly assessed the situation and jumped into action to remove residents that they could remove and get them to an area of safety,” he said.

Paramedics from across the region and neighbouring areas assisted, a spokesperson for Medavie EMS Elgin told Global News.

The Ontario Fire Marshal‘s investigation is ongoing.

With files from Kamil Karamali