Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

No smoke detectors in home where blaze killed woman

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THERE were no smoke detectors in the house where a woman died in a fire on Monday night in Selkirk, the Manitoba fire commissioner's office told the RCMP on Wednesday.

Emergency crews were called to the house at 10:30 p.m. Monday when neighbours saw the front porch engulfed in flames. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

An autopsy has concluded the woman, who was identified by relatives as Gloria Sanderson, succumbed to smoke inhalation during the blaze. Family members said she made it to the back door but didn't get out of the house in time.

The fire also killed Sanderson's dog but nobody else was in the house at the time.

Her husband was working a night shift when the fire started.

RCMP have estimated the damage to the house, located at 323 Taylor Ave., at $175,000. No neighbouring houses were damaged by the fire.

Hours after the fire was extinguished, one of Sanderson's nephews drove onto the Red River and was headed south when he hit open water in front of the Lockport Dam. The 40-year-old man was taken to hospital at 5 a.m. Tuesday with non-life-threatening injuries. The vehicle sank to the bottom of the river.

Selkirk RCMP spokesman Const. Paul Human said on Wednesday afternoon police divers had not yet inspected the vehicle due to safety concerns, and there was no timetable for when they might do so. The driver told police there was nobody else in the vehicle when it sank.

RCMP are investigating the circumstances that led to the vehicle sinking and have not ruled out alcohol as a factor.

brian.platt@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 13, 2012 A6

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