nb-moncton-fire-march-22

Residents were displaced from this Moncton apartment building overnight Tuesday due to a grease fire in the kitchen of one unit. (CBC)

About 100 people were displaced from their apartments in a Moncton building overnight after a relatively minor fire in the kitchen area of one unit on Tuesday at around midnight.

The fire in one unit of six-storey building triggered the sprinkler system in the building to go off and smoke spread to other units.

"There was a small grease fire on the stovetop on one of the apartment units on the third floor," said fire prevention officer Steve Richardson.

"There was minimal damage from the fire and smoke but the heat activated three sprinkler heads. So there was heavy water damage to the apartment and the two floors below the fire floor.

"It extinguished the fire really quickly but until the crews were able to get there and plug those sprinkler heads, there was a lot of water that ran through the building and the floors below from where the fire was."

Michael R. LeBlanc, who lives in the building, said the events were "a little foggy for me."

"I have health issues, so it takes a while to get going. It took me a while to put warm clothes on."

LeBlanc said he saw water on some floors, but none on his, so he went back to bed. At 4 a.m he was awakened by a firefighter in his bedroom.

"I was quite startled by that. He told that you have to pack up," he said.

Red Cross found lodging, food for 60 people

The 50-unit Belmar Plaza building at 460 Mountain Rd. is owned by Killam Properties, which was able to provide furnished apartments in some of its other Moncton properties for the tenants of five units.

The Canadian Red Cross arranged for hotel lodging and food for 51 adults and nine children from 23 units.

Five of the apartments in the building were vacant at the time of the fire. All other tenants made their own arrangements for temporary places to stay.

Most residents were able to retrieve clothing and personal items before leaving.

All residents were allowed back into their apartments on Wednesday, with the exception of those living in the unit where the fire happened.

There were no injuries reported.