Fire forces 2 to jump from Winnipeg home

Two people, including a 72-year-old man, jumped from the second-level of a burning home in Winnipeg on Thursday.
Firefighters investigate the scene of a Thursday morning blaze at 440 Alexander Ave. in Winnipeg's Centennial neighbourhood. (John Redekop/CBC)

Two people, including a 72-year-old man, jumped from the second-level of a burning home in Winnipeg on Thursday.

Emergency crews were called to the fire at 440 Alexander Ave., in the city's Centennial neighbourhood, just before 7 a.m.

Six people had escaped the blaze by the time firefighters arrived.

John Lagimodiere, 72, jumped out the front of a burning house and a passerby helped break his fall. ((Meaghan Ketcheson/CBC))

Four people were taken to hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries, including one of the people who jumped, said fire Chief Chuck Jonasson.

The 72-year-old man, John Lagimodiere, jumped out the front of the house and a passerby helped break his fall. That passerby left the scene, and Lagimodiere would now like to find him to say thank you.

"I opened my door, there was so much smoke already, so I decided to  jump out," said Lagimodiere, who has been the caretaker at the home for 19 years.

"There was a bypasser here and he told me 'jump' and he'll break my fall. So he stood at the bottom. I don't know where the guy disappeared to after. So he broke my fall."

Lagimodiere said he just has a few bruises.

The other person jumped from a second-level window onto the back porch and then to the ground.

"The one off the front amazingly is in good condition," Jonasson said about the 72-year-old,, adding the person who jumped out the back was taken to hospital for observation.

The cause of the fire, which was extinguished within a half hour, is under investigation.