Manitoba

Fire forces residents out of infamous Winnipeg rooming house

Residents of a notorious Winnipeg rooming house were chased out by a fire on Monday.

Building nicknamed Murder Mansion for number of homicides that have occurred there in recent years

Residents are out of this Balmoral Street rooming house after a fire. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

Residents of a notorious Winnipeg rooming house were chased out by a fire on Monday.

Shayne Metraux, who lives in the building on Balmoral Street between Cumberland and Notre Dame avenues, said he heard the alarm going off and went to look for smoke.

He found it billowing out the back staircase on the second floor so he grabbed his cat and went around banging on doors to alert others residents about the fire.

Shayne Metraux says he banged on doors to alert residents about the fire. (Austin Grabish/CBC)

District fire Chief Bruce Melnyk said crews were called just after 11 a.m. to the multi-unit building and found a suite on the main floor "fully involved" in flames.

Fire had also travelled through the walls, damaging another suite and spilling smoke through the rooftop, he said, adding he expects the two suites to be uninhabitable.

While crews were battling the fire, a man started hollering for help from a window on the second level, Melnyk said. A rescue unit got him out and the man was sent to hospital for evaluation, listed in stable condition.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and Melnyk had no estimate yet of the damage.

Metraux said Monday's fire was the third one in the past couple of weeks at the rooming house, which has been nicknamed Murder Mansion for the number of homicides that have occurred there in recent years.

He isn't certain how many people live in the building, saying numerous people come and go.

"A lot of dangerous people hang around. People are being stabbed and people are being punched, so I just barricade my door at night," said Metraux.

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