Fire in Moncton special-care home sends 11 scrambling

Eleven people escaped from a fire in a special care home near downtown Moncton early Wednesday morning.

LJ Jaillet residence on Lockhart Avenue suffers significant damage in 1 a.m. fire

The two-storey special-care home near downtown Moncton suffered significant damage. (Submitted by Ron Ward)

Eleven people escaped from a fire in a special-care home near downtown Moncton early on Wednesday morning.

The fire at 30 Lockhart Ave., was reported around 1:15 a.m.

"We're a special-care home. We're like a family," said owner Jacqueline Jaillet.

Ten adult residents and one staff member were in the building at the time. All escaped without any injuries being reported.

Everybody is safe.- Jacqueline Jaillet, owner LJ Jaillet residence

"Everybody is doing good. Everybody is safe," she said.

The facility is a level 2 special-care home for people with mental health issues.

The two-storey structure suffered significant damage and Jaillet expects the home won't be habitable for two months.

Some of the residents have been living together for eight years and Jaillet said she hopes the residents can be placed together while waiting for the home to be repaired.

"We'd like to keep them together. It's easier for them."

The facility was known as Friendship House, but was renamed LJ Jaillet residence after Jaillet bought it three months ago.

Flames out window

Platoon Chief Brian Gaudet said flames were coming out of a side window of the special-care home when fire crews arrived on the scene around 1 a.m. Wednesday. (Tori Weldon/CBC)
Moncton fire department Platoon Chief Brian Gaudet said flames were shooting out a side window of the building when fire crews arrived on the scene.

Three fire trucks and 16 firefighters attacked the fire.

"We proceeded with a very aggressive attack through the front entrance of the building and that's really where our success was made," he said.

"The efforts of our firefighters here this morning were exceptional and it's because of their aggressive and very effective and efficient activities and suppression that they were able to bring the fire under control very quickly."

The building was damaged by fire, smoke and water.

"We've seen a lot worse," said Gaudet.

"The damage is limited to one room and then the areas around that room, the kitchen and hallway. There's some smoke and water damage but the building is far from a loss."

Gaudet said there is a bedroom on the first floor of the building and it is believed the fire started in that area.

A resident saw flames in the ceiling and that is when the fire was reported and when people left the building.

The fire department's accelerant-detecting dog, Magic, checked the scene, but did not detect anything suspicious.

A firefighter escort helped one resident retrieve medication after the fire had been extinguished.

A Codiac Transit bus was called in by the Moncton fire department to briefly shelter the residents until the Red Cross could arrange for temporary lodging and other emergency support.

A member of the Moncton fire department adjusts equipment during a call to a fire at a special-care home on Lockhart Avenue at 1 a.m. Wednesday. (Submitted by Ron Ward)

With files from Tori Weldon