Ottawa fire leaves 8 homeless, causes $1M damage

Firefighters say eight people have been left homeless after a major fire destroyed a three-storey building in Ottawa's Beechwood area overnight.

Fire began at propane tank in backyard destroying 3-floor, 7-unit building, firefighters say

A major fire sent two to hospital and left eight people homeless near Beechwood Avenue. 2:19

Two people were injured and eight were left homeless after a fire destroyed a three-storey apartment building in Ottawa's Beechwood neighbourhood overnight.

Firefighters responded to the blaze just after 12:30 a.m. at 144 Barrette St., which runs parallel to Beechwood Avenue and just off Marier Avenue.

The fire began around a propane container in the backyard of a main floor unit, one of seven units in the building, firefighters said. It then ran up the back of the building and into the attic.

Firefighters were forced to battle the blaze from the outside of the building after a third alarm was called, meaning more firefighters and trucks responded as the fire grew.

While firefighters battled the blaze, they rescued a woman in her late 40s from the ground floor unit.

Paramedics took her and another man in his 50s to hospital with smoke inhalation. The man was later released but the woman remained in hospital late Saturday.

Another resident also tweeted three cats were missing after the fire:

  • Meeka is a tabby cat.
  • Montana is a black, long-haired cat.
  • The Baby is a Maine Coon breed (large bone structure, rectangular body shape, and long, flowing coat).

$1M in damage, building destroyed

The eight other tenants of the building and those from two neighbouring buildings were told to evacuate as a precaution, firefighters said.

Firefighters rescued a woman from the fire at 144 Barrette St. and paramedics took her to hospital as she suffered from smoke inhalation. (CBC)

The Red Cross and Salvation Army helped find temporary accommodations for those tenants who did not have a place to stay. The Salvation Army also offered gift cards and vouchers to the eight people left homeless, the organization tweeted Saturday.

Earlier reports said 10 people were displaced by the fire, but two of the people who escaped the fire were visitors.

On Sunday, Vanier diner Bobby's Table tweeted gift cards and cash were being collected for those who lost their homes in the fire.

The building, which has two units on each floor plus a basement unit, is not salvageable, firefighters said. The damage is estimated at $1 million.

Barrette Street remains closed between St. Charles Street and Marier Avenue as firefighters knock down the final remnants of the fire.

The Office of the Fire Marshall has been notified and it will be in charge of the investigation due to the extent of damage.

The exact cause has not been determined.