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Woman dead following early morning west end house fire (UPDATED)

Emergency crews were called just before 3 a.m. about a basement fire on Westwood Road

A 41-year-old Guelph woman is dead following an early Thursday morning fire at a west-end townhouse.

The woman's name will not be released, states a news release from Guelph Police Service, which is investigating along with the Guelph Fire Department, with assistance from the Office of the Fire Marshall.

A 911 call was received just before 3 a.m. about a fire in the basement of a townhouse on Westwood Road near Willow Road, across the street from St. Peter Catholic School. Several adjacent units were evacuated due to thick smoke. 

Police officers reported seeing smoke coming from the main and upper levels when they arrived, notes the release.

A female located inside the home was transported to Guelph General Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. A male was also taken to hospital for treatment of a minor injury not associated with the fire, police said.

Neighbour Keith Binding was one of the people evacuated by police and fire officials, as his unit is directly connected.

"I feel really bad for the woman there," he said.

Bindings said he was asleep when he was woken up at about 3 a.m. because of people at the door and was "startled" to learn what was happening.  

He said a city bus was brought in for evacuees to stay warn.

Binding believes two women live in the unit. He said he saw paramedics performing chest compressions on someone on a stretcher, then they were loaded into an ambulance and taken away.

A mobile command centre remained parked on the road in front of the townhouse at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday morning, though other emergency vehicles had left, other than a police cruiser parked directly in front of the home.

Before he was let back into his unit at about 5:30 a.m. a firefighter took carbon monoxide readings to ensure it was safe, Billings said.

The property was cordoned off with police tape and several items lay on the lawn.

The incident remains under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call Det.-Const. David Collie at 519-824-1212, ext. 7027.