Fire breaks out in downtown hostel for low-income people
1 person taken to hospital
One person was taken to hospital after a fire broke out at a transitional hostel for low income people in downtown Edmonton on Wednesday afternoon.
The fire broke out on a top floor suite at Dwayne's Home at 100 Avenue and 102 Street in downtown Edmonton around 2:49 p.m. A second alarm was called 30 minutes later.
The condition of the injured person is not known.
Smoke could be seen billowing out of the back of the building as residents gathered outside. Fire officials say that no one will be able to return to their homes tonight.
District fire chief Randy Shakura says about 130 people live in the building and crews are certain that no one was left inside.
Two Edmonton Transit buses were brought to the scene to give people a place to keep warm. Shakura says arrangements are being made for the Red Cross to get involved.
The company that manages the building is also helping.
"They have other properties throughout the city and they’ll look at placing them," Shakura said.
Debbie Desbiens lives two doors down from the unit that caught on fire. She says someone pulled the fire alarm as she returned home from an errand.
“The smoke was billowing out. He was going to try and open the door. I said ‘No. Do not touch the door,” she said. “We left.”
Desbiens said there had earlier been two small fires caused by people putting cigarette butts in garbage cans. However, fire investigators have yet confirmed the cause of today's fire.
The building is a former hotel that was converted into a hostel a couple of years ago.