Calgary families were forced out of their homes this morning and into the frigid cold after a fire broke out in their southeast apartment building. 

The fire started just after 6 a.m. MT. Paramedics said one woman was taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.

The apartment building, Acadia Place, is owned by the Calgary Homeless Foundation and houses families at risk of experiencing homelessness.

It is part of the city's 10-year Plan to End Homelessness. The plan was first introduced in 2008 and is being implemented by the Calgary Homeless Foundation. 

Calgary Transit buses were brought in initially to keep residents out of the cold. 

"Our first priority [was] to make sure everyone was safe and cared for and that we had somewhere for them to go in this weather," said the Homeless Foundation’s Louise Gallagher.

As of 8:30 a.m. MT, people who live on two of the three storeys in the building were allowed back in.

Some residents at CUPS

Those who can't go back into their homes yet, about 20 residents, are now at the downtown location of Calgary Urban Projects Society (CUPS), a non-profit agency that helps low-income Calgarians.

"We've got some food coming, we have some towels for showers, there's a place here for kids to play,” said CUPS spokesman Robert Perry.

CUPS operates programs at the apartment building.

Gallagher says they are still waiting to see the extent of the damages.

"The unit has some damage, it will be out of commission for a few days, but the rest of the building should pretty well be back, hopefully today."

The two-alarm blaze was contained to one unit at the complex at Heritage Drive and Fairmount Drive S.E. Fire crews said it started on a balcony. 

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A two-alarm fire forced residents of a southeast Calgary apartment building out into the frigid cold early Thursday morning. (Justin Pennell/CBC)

Corrections

  • Calgary EMS earlier reported that it was a child who was taken to hospital. In fact it was an adult woman.
    Dec 05, 2013 6:36 AM MT
With files from Kyle Bakx/CBC