Edmonton apartment fire damage pegged at $3.5 million

It's estimated a downtown apartment fire in Edmonton that injured four people caused $3.5 million in damages.
Normand Hachey, a tenant of an apartment building damaged by fire Tuesday, shows off his photos of the fire. (CBC)

A downtown Edmonton apartment fire that injured four people caused an estimated $3.5 million in damages, fire officials said Wednesday.

The fire began on the top floor of the three-storey Royal Scot Apartments at 92nd Street and 105th Avenue just after 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Two adults and two children were taken to hospital with severe smoke inhalation. One adult and a child were listed in critical condition.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Witnesses told CBC News that a top floor unit was being treated for bedbugs at the time.

Fire officials said two large propane tanks were on a balcony but no one has said why they were there.

Building management held a meeting with residents Wednesday but some expressed frustration with what they were hearing.

"We just walked out of the meeting," Nicole Hanson said. "They weren't giving us any answers that were helpful."

Fire damage is pegged at $3.5 million. (CBC)
Hanson said no one had information about why the propane tanks were on the balcony, the condition of the people who were injured and where residents could go for help. 

Her frustrations were echoed by Natasha Johnson whose apartment was damaged in the fire.

"They don't know anything," she said. "So basically it was just a waste of time."

People with undamaged suites were told they may be allowed to return within 30 days, Johnson said. It could be 8 to 10 months before the others are allowed to go back.

"It's pretty rough in there," resident Pauline Lamontagne said as she left the meeting. "There's a lot of people who don't have insurance ... I think Red Cross can help people for 72 hours and otherwise they're on their own after that."

Lamontagne's unit isn't in the section of the building where the fire originated. She has heard she might be allowed back into her suite to quickly retrieve some toiletries.