A child protection worker died Tuesday in hospital from injuries she sustained in an apartment fire in Hanmer on Monday, Greater Sudbury Police and her employer have confirmed.
Nicole Belair, 33, who worked the Children's Aid Society, was conducting a home visit at the time of the fire. The CAS confirmed her death in a news release.
“Nicole built many strong relationships with her co-workers, who she considered to be part of her family,” the release said.
“Her commitment to the youth and families she served is evidenced by the volume of fond memories they are sharing about their experiences with her.”
The fire occurred in an apartment building on Rita Street in Hanmer. It is reported to have caused $100,000 in damage.
In addition to Belair, three people were injured in the blaze, including a firefighter. The three-story building contained 16 apartments, although the fire was contained to just one apartment. Both fire and smoke damage were listed as severe.
“We are shocked and profoundly saddened by the impact of this tragic accident,” said a statement from Colette Prévost, the executive director of the Children's Aid Society.
“Nicole was a dedicated and experienced worker, and had built incredibly strong bonds with the youth and families she served. She will be missed by countless colleagues who have come to depend on her passion and commitment.
“First and foremost, our energies are being focused on providing support to those most closely impacted by this incident — Nicole’s family and co-workers, and the youth and families to whom she was so fiercely dedicated.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this time of such incredible loss.”
A Facebook site — Prayers for Nicole Belair — has been created in her honour, with friends and family offering condolences.