July 21, 2007

Fire's burning....

But not the small fires that are perfect for roasting marshmallows or weiners.
After an early morning phone call we raced to the window to see what is now being refered to as the biggest fire in Edmonton history!! I have never seen so many firefighters or people up that early in the morning!!

This was in the paper:
Dozens homeless after south-side fire

Josh Wingrove

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Edmonton -- An early-morning blaze at a south-side construction site has left dozens homeless after tearing through a nearby townhouse.

The fire started in a four-storey, 149-unit condo community being built along 119th Street, just north of Ellerslie Road. Strong winds carried the flames to a nearby townhouses. The condos were destroyed, as well as 18 townhouses. Another 76 townhouses were damaged. No injuries were reported.

"It looked like an explosion from a movie set," said Alex Srdoc, 30, who was in home with husband Bryan Peters when they heard the sound of the fire. They believe it was lost in the fire, but weren't let near it to see.

"I thought the construction guys were out," said Peters, 27. He looked out the window to see siding of the homes next to his was already starting to melt.

"I thought to myself, 'Oh, there's a fire. The fire department will come, put it out, and I'll come back to bed," Peters said.

"You get outside and feel the heat, and realize you're not going home."
Fire crews got a call at 5:18 a.m. but called in more trucks when they saw the smoke over the horizon, Edmonton fire and ambulance spokesperson Nikki Booth said. As many as 28 emergency vehicles responded to the scene.

"There was a wall of fire," said Teresa Hardy, 25, who lost her home in the fire. She's lived there for a year and a half.

"I was saying, 'maybe it's only burned a bit and that I could get some of my stuff.' Nope," Hardy added.
Many of the residents forced out are staying with friends in the new neighbourhood, a mix of condos and detached homes. Many of the families are new to Edmonton. Melanie Reid moved to Edmonton just one month ago with her family, including her five-month-old child.

"I heard some people yelling. I looked out my window thinking, 'hey, it's 5 a.m. I've got a baby sleeping in here,'" said Reid, 32. She grabbed her child and ran outside with her family.

"I just wanted to get out."
An Edmonton Transit bus was brought to the area for residents to wait in, but few did. A condo supervisor was trying to account for all the residents Saturday morning.

"Our hearts definitely go out to the families. This is complete devastation," Booth said.
Peters and Srdoc remained in good spirits, sitting in front of the bus. The condos all have structure insurance, they said, and they have contents insurance. They said they don't know how to go about putting their life back together. Srdoc is two-months pregnant.

"We're healthy, we still have a kid on the way. They're just material things," Peters said.
"The worst part of this will be the hassle of trying to replace your life."
The fire has drawn attention to Edmonton Fire's campaign to change the city's building codes. Buildings built too closely together with flammable vinyl siding make it easy for a fire to spread, Booth said.

"None of these units were here two years ago. If those codes were changed, we wouldn't be facing the devastation we are today," she said.

One fire-fighter was treated for heat-exhaustion in the "large, intense fire," Booth said.
Fire crews will remain on scene throughout the day.


© Edmonton Journal 2007


Unknown said...

Found this one too!!

SAGirl20 said...