Elderly woman dies after early morning apartment fire in Coaldale

An elderly woman died after a fire at a seniors’ residence in the southern Alberta town of Coaldale early Friday morning.

RCMP were the first to respond to a three-storey apartment on 19 Street and 23 Avenue in Coaldale. Mounties said they responded at 1 a.m. to a 911 call of a woman in distress, but the reason for the call wasn’t clear.

It wasn’t until officers arrived at the seniors’ apartment complex and found a wall of thick smoke preventing access to the suite that fire crews were called.

Firefighters with the Coaldale Fire Department got into the suite and rescued the elderly woman inside. RCMP said crews attempted to treat the woman, but she died from what is believed to have been smoke inhalation.

The Calgary Medical Examiners office has been notified, and local authorities will be working with the medical examiners to officially determine the cause of the death and the fire.

At the time of the fire, all other people in the building got outside safely, and RCMP said the blaze was extinguished quickly.

Most residents were allowed to return, as the fire was contained primarily to the one apartment.

The woman’s family was notified, and RCMP said her name was not being released. Police said the investigation was ongoing, but foul play was not suspected.

Coaldale is located about 10 kilometres east of Lethbridge.

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