2 Kitchener brothers lose homes in Louisa Street fire
Jonathan More and his brother Andrew are now looking at moving back in with their parents temporarily, after an early-morning fire destroyed their townhouses in a condominium complex on Louisa Street in Kitchener.
"I got woken up at about 5:00 a.m. with just the doorbell, I didn't wake up from the fire, but then when I looked out and saw the fire truck out front, I figured I'd better go downstairs," said Jonathan More, 29. "[I] could see out the back, there was a wall of flames and those units are completely, you know, that thing burned completely down."
"The heat seemed to have caught on to my house, and a lot of it burnt down today too," he said.
More moved in to his townhouse unit at 342 Louisa St. just a few weeks ago, right next door to his older brother Andrew, who lived at 344.
Jonathan and Andrew were standing across the street in the front yard of 345 Louisa St. early Tuesday morning watching firefighters douse the flames eating at their homes, along with their parents, Andrew's fiance Laura Launslager and her sister, Katie Launslager.
According to William Liske, general counsel for Losani Homes, the development company building the Victoria Common complex, residents who are affected will have a place to stay.
"The people who were in occupation of the units that were affected, we've put them up in a hotel," said Liske.
Liske added that the fire was contained to only a few units due to safety measures built into the townhouse structure.
"If you look at the town home unit that was already occupied, it looks like the fire breaks worked. It looks like the fire burned vertically instead of spreading horizontally, which is good for the building code and how things are working."
Jonathan's home is the most visibly damaged in the section of units facing Louisa Street.
"It looked like they were going to make it out unscathed, they were pouring water on the top of it, but I guess somehow the fire got inside, and it just burned the roof right off, obviously the whole upstairs looks to be ruined," said More, whose bedroom was on the top floor.
"You can see water just gushing out the front entrance which is like two levels down, so it's --yeah. It's probably pretty rough," he said.
More wasn't sure if he would be able to go back inside his unit Tuesday.
"I don't think it really matters, I don't think there's any reason to go in now, it looks pretty ruined," he said.
Andrew More, 31, had moved into his town house a few months earlier with his fiance Laura Launslager, 29.
"We got woken up around 5 this morning to the firemen knocking at our door because the whole complex, the house behind us was on fire and we looked out our back window to see flames on our window," said Launslager,
"We just ran out as soon as they started knocking on our doors, everyone had to get out right away and then the back of our house is burning down," she said.
Launslager said that she was grateful that her sister Katie's wedding dress wasn't in her house. The sisters had made plans for Katie to get ready at Laura's house, for her wedding in two weeks at Grey Silo Golf Course.