Woman dead, man hospitalised after south Canberra fire

A Canberra woman is dead and her husband is recovering in hospital after a fire consumed their home in the city’s south overnight.

The 70-year-old woman died inside the house in McTaggart Crescent, Kambah, while her 74-year-old husband was able to make his way to the home’s backyard.

He was taken to hospital where he is now recovering.

Emergency services were first alerted to the blaze about 7:45pm on Sunday, but did not provide details of the fatal fire until late on Monday morning.

Detective Inspector Matthew Reynolds from ACT Policing said it was not yet clear how the fire started, but investigators did not believe it was suspicious.

Police block off a street at night.
Police were called to the McTaggart Crescent home about 7:45pm yesterday.(ABC News: Julie Doyle)

“The 74-year-old male suffered some non-life-threatening injuries, so smoke inhalation and clearly distressed, in shock,” he said.

“In terms of the exact point of the fire, we’re not sure of that yet.

“The damage is extensive to the house, at the moment that needs to be structurally assessed.”

Authorities said it was believed the couple had lived at the house for some time.

Superintendent Paul Flynn from ACT Fire and Rescue said the man had escaped the blaze by fleeing to the backyard.

“When the crews arrived on scene the house was fairly fully involved,” he said.

“I believe [the 74-year-old] made his way to the backyard, he was found at the rear of the property.

“Unfortunately the other occupant was not able to escape.”

A police barrier in front of a burnt-out house.
The remains of the house on McTaggart Crescent in Kambah.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

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