Niagara police say a man injured at an industrial blaze in the Port Weller East area of St. Catharines, Ont., on Thursday has died from his injuries.
The man, in his 30s and from the city, was the only person sent to hospital with serious injuries after multiple explosions rocked nearby residents near Keefer Road, not far from Seaway Haulage Road.
“We are not releasing the identity of the deceased as the next of kin notification process is ongoing,” Niagara Regional Police (NRPS) Insp. Rob Laplante explained in an online presser Friday afternoon.
St. Catharines fire says the blaze, at hazardous materials company Ssonix Products, started just after 6:30 a.m. and forced authorities to evacuate around 50 people from nearby homes and businesses.
The victim, a staff member at Ssonix, was taken to hospital with burn injuries, according to paramedics.
Chief Dave Upper said the blaze involved a building containing mainly “paint-type chemicals” which is believed to be the “main piece of the fire.”
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Office of the Fire Marshal operations manager Jeff Tebby expects his crew to be on scene between seven to 10 days for an “origin and cause investigation.”
He says the extended length of the probe is due to a remediation process to make the site safe for inspectors.
“That investigation has not actually begun yet, so we are not able to comment at all on the origin, cause or circumstances of the incident,” Tebby said.
Leplante says officers will continue to provide scene security and are urging the public “to be aware of traffic flow” over the next 10 days which will be affected.
“This will likely include road closures. We thank the public for their patience during this time,” he said.