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Woman tried to reach neighbour who perished in fire

A 57-year-old man who was a “good neighbour” died after a house fire in Fairview Wednesday morning.

A 57-year-old man who was a “good neighbour” died after a house fire in Fairview Wednesday morning.

Fire crews were called to Glenda Crescent at 8:30 a.m., said fire spokesman Capt. Dave Meldrum.

“On arrival, our firefighters did encounter fire coming from the back one-third of a trailer-style home,” he said. “The firefighters entered with hose lines to attack that fire, unfortunately they found a male occupant we believe to be (57)-years-old unconscious in the trailer.”

Firefighters pulled him out and administered first aid until paramedics came. The man, identified by neighbours as John O’Brien, was in critical condition.

Police said the man was declared dead when he arrived at the hospital. The fire isn’t suspicious in nature.

Fire investigators remained at the trailer for several hours Wednesday morning, looking into the cause of the blaze. The trailer was gutted by fire, with the back end suffering most of the damage.

A neighbour, Pat Turner, said she saw the fire as she went out to feed the birds yesterday morning.

“I tried calling John,” she said. “But there was no reply. When I came back the flames were even bigger so I called 9-1-1.”

A female police officer was first on the scene, Turner said. The officer kicked in the door, but it was too dangerous to enter.

“It was like a carpet of smoke, the thickest, blackest smoke I’ve ever seen,” Turner said.

Firefighters wearing masks crawled into the trailer and pulled O’Brien out, she said.

Theresa Kelly was fraught with worry for her neighbour when his condition was still unknown Wednesday morning.

She said O’Brien was retired and lived by himself. He moved into the trailer park three or four years ago.

“He loved it there,” she said. “He was so nice and so happy here.”