A charred, blackened shell is all that remains of a Winnipeg Beach home after a deadly blaze claimed the lives of two young women this morning.
RCMP said crews responded to the fire on Prospect Street at around 6:30 a.m. Three people were inside the home, but only one, an 18-year-old man, was able to escape the fire. He was taken to hospital in stable condition.
Neighbors have confirmed that Ken Mosher was in the home with his sister, Lisa Mosher, and a friend when the flames broke out. The neighbours said Ken, 18, made it out, but Lisa and her friend were unable to escape.
Rena Serlin lives next door to the Mosher family and awoke to the smell of smoke and the sound of screams. Serlin ran outside to see Ken leaving the burning home, screaming that his sister and her friend were still inside.
"At that point, the house was just totally engulfed in huge flames. There was nothing we could do but call 911 and hope," said Serlin.
Another neighbour had a varying account of what transpired. "I saw a boy run out of the home with a dog, "said the neighbour, who asked that her name not be used. "A girl ran outside after on the front lawn. But after only a few seconds she ran back in. I didn't see her come out again."
Serlin said she had been told the fire broke out in the back room of the home. She said paramedics arrived on scene first, followed by members of the local fire department. The blaze was contained and did not damage any of the surrounding homes.
Cpl. Darryl Robak with the Arborg RCMP was able to confirm that the two fatalities were women. Robak said the 18-year-old man has been taken to Health Sciences Centre to be treated for his injuries.
Lisa Adair said she was outside this morning when the fire trucks arrived at the Prospect St. fire. "At first we thought it was a false alarm, and then looking above the bandstand, you could see the black smoke just billowing out," she said.
Gimli RCMP and the Manitoba Office of the Fire Commission remained on the scene investigating this afternoon. RCMP spokeswoman Sgt. Line Karpish said it's too soon to know the cause of the fire.
"There's a lot of questions right now, not as many answers, but we'll get there," she said.
The home was a complete loss.
The tragedy comes on the eve of the two-year anniversary of another fatal fire in Winnipeg Beach. An early-morning house fire on Aug. 6, 2010 claimed the life of 90-year-old Patrick Gallagher.