UE: Degera Wells Memorial (Hamilton)

The Degera Wells Memorial was a 4 or 5 story apartment block in Hamilton, Ontario. The apartment complex was the scene of a multi apartment fire which spread quickly through several units. One girl, Degera Wells (b. Nov 5 1981 - d. Jun 22 2004) from Apartment 24 perished in the fire. The choice to explore this building was not a difficult one to make. We decided to explore it in her memory, and agreed to call any photo albums of stories of this location "Degera Wells Memorial". While none of us ever really knew her, or could even imagine who she was... We would like to think that if anything at least her name lives on. I am sure photos of a fire damaged building are far from any sort of memory that we should have of her. And of course, I would be happy to include any testimony from anyone who knew her, and also photos of her from which to remember her by.

The rear apartments were generally accessible through a rear alleyway. Inside we found the contents of the apartments mostly still remaining, however obviously some stuff has been stolen. We found some brand new steak knives in one kitchen!

The front of the building, which was the entrance to the main staircase and courtyard, was heavily boarded up. Special entry techniques were utilized to get around this barrier and enter the main part of the complex.

Once inside the courtyard we began to slowly and carefully explore the building. The courtyard itself was filled with furniture and other debris which had been cleared out of the building. Likely by the fire crew during overhaul.

Many of the following images may be dark in more than one aspect. We tried to use as little light as possible to avoid producing light which would cause people to see that we were inside the location. We also tried to capture images which might be a little stunning or have an impact in a way. We were careful not to disturb anything, and left everything where we found it.

Apparently some trash from the cleanup process. Some of it was charred.

We found it odd that these mirrors were broken. This building was very secure. I don't believe vandals would have gotten in... So were these mirrors broken before hand?

Most of the kitchens had fridges with rotting food inside them still. Some had the doors slightly ajar, and you could tell rats had been feasting.

Sadly this exit sign did not light the way for everyone to get to safety.

The stairs to get up to the top floor were very charred. They were not safe enough to traverse.

The roof had partially collapsed in some spots as well.

The other staircase was slightly more passable. But we were still careful with it.

From our calculations, this would have been Apartment 24. It seemed to be above some of the heavier fire damages areas, and this room was indeed very fire damaged. We would not even walk in, as the floor appeared very unsafe.

Rest in Peace Degera... Your life ended far too soon. :(