UPDATE: 40-year-old identified as victim in fatal Chatham apartment fire

Apartment building at 50 Merritt Ave. in Chatham. October 25, 2020. (Photo by Natalia Vega).

Chatham-Kent police have identified the victim of a fatal fire this weekend at a Chatham apartment building.

The fire broke out around 4 p.m. Saturday at 50 Merritt Ave. Emergency crews found the body of a deceased person inside the unit. On Tuesday afternoon, police identified 40-year-old Daphne Wilkins as the deceased.

According to police, Wilkins was the only tenant in the unit where the fire occurred.

Office of the Fire Marshal (OFM) Supervisor Manny Garcia said, at this time, neither the fire nor the woman’s death is considered suspicious.

“I can confirm that our scene examination was completed [Monday] afternoon and have determined that the fire was accidental in nature,” said Garcia.

According to Garcia, the unit was equipped with a working smoke alarm.

“I can also confirm that a smoke alarm within the apartment did function as designed and was heard sounding by witnesses,” he explained.

Garcia said that the damage estimate is a “subjective number” but will likely be in excess of $75,000.

A GoFundMe page has since been set up by a resident of the building to support the victim’s family.