A 63 year-old Bracebridge woman is in critical condition after a fire at an apartment building last night.

Shortly after 6pm, police and fire responded to 19 Monck Road. An apartment on the ground floor of the two-story complex was fully engulfed in flames with local residents attempting to put the fire out. Responding members of Bracebridge Fire Department entered the apartment and located the lone unconscious female resident.

The victim, 63 year-old Gwendolyn Cartwright, was taken to South Muskoka Memorial Hospital and subsequently transported by air ambulance to Sunnybrook Hospital with life-threatening injuries. She is currently listed in critical condition. The victim’s two dogs in the apartment died.

All other residents of the complex were evacuated without injury. They were assisted by Muskoka Victim Services and the Salvation Army. Many were housed in local motels with the assistance of the District of Muskoka. Firefighters had the blaze quickly under control. The victim’s unit was destroyed and neighbouring apartments sustained extensive smoke damage. There were working fire alarms in the apartment.

Bracebridge Salvation Army Captain Fred Reid says the army is working with Victim Services interviewing about 31 displaced residents about their current and long term needs. The Army will be footing the bill to help with accommodation and organizing food and clothing requirements moving forward. If residents want to help the effort, contact the Salvation Army at 705-645-2602. Some of the displaced residents found accommodation with family members.

The cause of the fire in under investigation and the members of the Ontario Fire Marshalls’ office have been called in to assist.