Second Canadian Firefighter Dies after Roof Collapses During Blaze

Updated: 03-21-2005 11:00:49 PM


EDMONTON (CP) -- A veteran Yellowknife firefighter died Monday, several days after his rookie colleague was killed when a roof collapsed while they were fighting a blaze in the northern city.

Television station CFRN reported that the family of Cyril Fyfe, 41, decided to take him off life support. He had been in a coma.

Fyfe's young colleague Kevin Olson, 24, died Thursday when the roof of a burning hardware store collapsed on top of the two men in Yellowknife.

Originally from Calgary, Olson had been on the job in Yellowknife for only 10 days.

Fyfe had been on the job 18 years.

Yellowknife city officials have said that a group of firefighters were on the roof trying to make a hole to tackle the fire which had spread through the trusses of the building.

But the roof caved in on top of Fyfe and Olson, who were inside the structure at the time.

The firefighters who were on the roof when it collapsed managed to get out safely, and without serious injuries.

The deaths of Olson and Fyfe are the first in the line of duty in the Yellowknife fire department's history.

Yellowknife has a volunteer component to its fire department, but Olson and Fyfe were both full-time employees. Fyfe worked as a volunteer for two years before he became a full-time firefighter.

Chuck Corothers, the owner of the building, has said he suspects the cause of the fire may have been two electrical heaters in the roof of the shed, which was used to cut plywood, lumber and mouldings for customers.