Heavy smoke forces highrise residents onto balconies

Some people living in a highrise near the Billings Bridge mall were forced from their units and onto their balconies because of heavy smoke.

Some residents of Riverside Drive building forced from units by smoke, fire officials say

Emergency crews responded to a fire on the 21st floor of this highrise at 2201 Riverside Drive on Feb. 21, 2018. (Jean Delisle/CBC)

Some people living in a highrise near the Billings Bridge mall were forced from their units and onto their balconies by heavy, black smoke from an electrical fire Wednesday morning.

Ottawa fire officials said they got a call about smoke on the 21st floor of an apartment building near the intersection of Bank Street and Riverside Drive before 11 a.m.

After climbing the stairs to the building's 21st floor, crews used a chemical extinguisher to douse the flames.  

The fire was under control by 11:30 a.m. and people were being taken down using the stairs, because the power has been cut to the building and the elevators will be out of service, according to spokesperson Danielle Cardinal.

Paramedics treated six patients, mostly for shortness of breath. Two people were transported to hospital.