Resident found dead after fire at Edmonton seniors' home

One person is dead after a fire broke out inside a southeast Edmonton seniors home on Thursday night.

Victim was a man who lived at St. Andrew's Ukrainian Selo in Forest Heights, says neighbour

One person was found dead in a suite after Edmonton Fire Rescue Services crews were called to a fire at the St. Andrew's Ukrainian Selo seniors' home. (Nola Keeler/CBC)

One person is dead after a fire broke out inside a suite in a southeast Edmonton seniors home late Thursday.

Several other residents were treated for minor injuries on scene, but no one else was taken to hospital, a Fire Rescue Services spokesperson said.

A resident of the building said the victim was a man who lived there in a main-floor suite.

Around 10:30 p.m., fire crews were called to St. Andrew's Ukrainian Selo at 8025 101st. Ave. in the Forest Heights neighbourhood.

Fire crews arrived within five minutes of being called and the fire was brought under control by 11 p.m.

Residents were evacuated from the building.

One resident of the building, Wayne Huculak, said the victim was a man and that they were friends.

Huculak's main-floor suite is only a few metres away from the neighbouring suite where the fire broke out. 

'I couldn't' see anything'

"I was sleeping and I just woke up because I heard the fire alarm going, so I figured I better check it out," Huculak said Friday morning as he stood on the sidewalk outside the burned-out unit.

"Then I just opened up the door and I couldn't see anything because it was all smoky, so I came to the front entrance and the fireman said, 'OK, you've got to leave the building.' " 

Huculak and more than 20 other residents spent a few hours on a bus before they were allowed back into their units. 

"When I was going back to my suite, the door was open to his suite and the walls were all smoke," he said. 

The fire was contained to a single suite where the body was found, Maya Filipovic, a spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services, said Friday.

It is not clear if the person's death was related to the fire, Filipovic said.

Investigators won't release any identifying details of the deceased resident until an autopsy is completed, said Filipovic.

The city's emergency support response team was also on scene providing food and water, said Filipovic.

Buses were brought in to provide evacuated residents temporary shelter from the cold.

Residents have since been allowed to return to their suites, she said.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Edmonton Fire Rescue Services estimated the damage to be $80,000.

With files from Nola Keeler