Fire badly damages 2 houses in Martindale

Fire crews battled a major fire in Martindale early Monday morning that engulfed two houses in the northeast Calgary neighbourhood.

Emergency crews called to northeast Calgary neighbourhood at 6:10 a.m.

Two houses in Martindale in northeast Calgary were badly damaged by a fire early Monday morning. (Reid Southwick/CBC)

Fire crews battled a major fire in Martindale early Monday morning that engulfed two houses in the northeast Calgary neighbourhood. 

Firefighters were called to the 100 block of Martindale Drive N.E. at about 6:10 a.m., a fire official says.

Crews arrived to find two houses on fire and elevated the call to a second alarm. There were 11 trucks at the scene at the height of the emergency response.

Saima Noreen, who lives in one of the affected houses, says she was the only person awake in her home when she heard the fire outside.

At the height of the fire there were 11 fire trucks at the scene in Martindale. (Reid Southwick/CBC)

"My kitchen window was open. I heard from outside something, so I opened my side door and there was a fire outside," she said.

"I shout to my husband and my kids, 'come out everyone 'cause there's a fire.'"

Noreen said she called 911 and knocked on her neighbours' doors to get them out.

"I don't know what happened, but within seconds my house burned," she said.

The Calgary Fire Department said in a release that seven adults and nine children had safely escaped their homes before fire crews arrived.

District fire chief Jason Graham says three homes were affected by the fire.

"Two of them appear to be extensively damaged. But we're waiting to do further investigation to find out exactly how badly damaged they are," he said.

'Thank God we're OK'

Adil Younis, who lives in the other badly burned house, heard screaming outside. Realizing the house next door was on fire, he grabbed his kids and his wife and ran outside.

"I got them out and by the time the fire trucks came, our house burned, too," he said. "Thank God we're OK."

Younis says his only focus is that his family got out safely.

"I'm not worried about stuff or this and that. I don't even have any insurance or nothing on what I have in there," he said.

"I'm just a renter. And everything is gone. But it's OK, we can move on."

The Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA) was called in to help the displaced families.

A fire investigator is trying to determine what sparked the blaze. Anyone who has photos or video, especially from before fire crews arrived, is asked to contact fire officials.