Edmonton condo fire victims salvage goods

Tenants of the Heatheridge condo complex in south Edmonton were allowed to enter the building Wednesday to collect or salvage what goods they could two weeks after a fire forced them out.
Heatheridge condo residents salvage belongings two weeks after a major fire ripped through the south Edmonton building. (CBC)

Tenants of the Heatheridge condo complex in south Edmonton were allowed to enter the building Wednesday to salvage what goods they could two weeks after a fire forced them out.

Darren Smith hauls out a hunting trophy he values at $25,000. (CBC)

People on the lower floors sustained the most water damage and most residents reported heavy smoke damage to clothing and furniture.

Darren Smith was relieved to find his hunting gear and two deer mounts were okay.

Other tenants also seemed pleasantly surprised to salvage things like paintings, which can be cleaned and restored.

Smith said many who lost their belongings were uninsured or under-insured.

Get insurance, tenant advises

"Ninety per cent of the people here were not insured," he said. "I met them at the meetings, they are so stressed out as you can imagine, panicked and distraught.

"Everybody out there who has an apartment — get insurance!" he said.

Smith, whose apartment suffered heavy smoke damage, took the last two weeks off work to gather receipts for his insurance company.

Mike Trepanier was checking out his 80-year-old mother-in-law's condo.

His mother-in-law, who has lived at the complex for 32 years, can salvage almost all of her possessions, he said.

"I think she'll do just fine," said Trepanier. "She's a very strong woman."

The fire is believed to have started near the boiler room on the main floor of the building at 111A Street and 18th Avenue.