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2 dead in North End house fire, 2 others taken to hospital

WATCH: Winnipeg fire crews battled a house fire in the 700 block of Selkirk Avenue Friday that claimed the lives of two people and injured two others.

Winnipeg fire officials said two people have died and two others escaped a house fire on Selkirk Avenue on Friday.

WATCH: Two people died and two others were taken to hospital mid-day Friday after a fire in a multi-family house on Selkirk Avenue

Two dead in North End house fire, two others taken to hospital
Two dead in North End house fire, two others taken to hospital

Crews responded to a report of a fire in a multi-family home in the 700 block of Selkirk Avenue at 11:16 a.m. and arrived to find the structure ablaze with “heavy flames coming from the windows,” said Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service in a written statement.

Two people in the home had managed to get out of the house before crews arrived. They were taken to hospital in unstable condition.

RELATED: Winnipeg firefighters tackle blaze on Boyd Avenue

Deputy Fire Chief Russ Drohomereski said crews were unable to get into the building until after the fire was out. Firefighters discovered the bodies of two other people inside the house.

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“They mounted an offensive attack but ended up needing to be backed out and they went into a defensive attack,” he said.

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The cause of the blaze was not known, but officials were looking into whether or not the home had smoke alarms.

“At this time, I can’t speak to there being working smoke alarms in this structure. We’re not able to determine that at this time, but it’s very important that the public understands it’s paramount to their safety to have working smoke alarms in their houses,” Drohomereski said.

The house was expected to be a total loss.

READ MORE: Winnipeg house fire caused by unattended pot of oil on stove

Witnesses at the scene said they saw several people running from the house when the fire first broke out.

“The flames were pretty intense; they were coming out pretty bad,” said Kelly Willman.

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“It was pretty scary … There was a bunch of people running out and freaking out.”

WATCH: Winnipeg fire crews battle house fire in North End

Winnipeg fire crews battle house fire in North End
Winnipeg fire crews battle house fire in North End
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Several fire trucks were involved in fighting the fire, and traffic was blocked over the lunch hour.

Scott Duarte / Global News
Fire crews were on Selkirk Avenue midday Friday battling a house fire.
Fire crews were on Selkirk Avenue midday Friday battling a house fire. Scott Duarte / Global News
Police blocked off a section of Selkirk Avenue Friday as fire crews attended to a house fire.
Police blocked off a section of Selkirk Avenue Friday as fire crews attended to a house fire. Scott Duarte / Global News
Winnipeg fire crews work to extinguish a house fire on Selkirk Avenue Friday.
Winnipeg fire crews work to extinguish a house fire on Selkirk Avenue Friday. Scott Duarte / Global News

WATCH: These are the Top 5 causes of house fires, according to a Winnipeg fire investigator

These are the Top 5 causes of house fires: Winnipeg fire investigator
These are the Top 5 causes of house fires: Winnipeg fire investigator
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