Fire on Wellington Crescent consumes home, kills dogs and injures firefighters
Blaze under control, but ice remains on boulevard following daylong firefighting effort
Two dogs died and two firefighters were injured after crews spent a frigid Wednesday battling a fire that consumed a home on Winnipeg's Wellington Crescent.
Deputy fire chief Russ Drohomereski said one firefighter was treated for a minor injury to his leg. The city later confirmed a second firefighter was injured.
The bungalow's owner was not injured in the fire. Attempts to resuscitate two dogs were not successful.
Fire crews arrived at the home on the north side of Wellington, near Oxford Street, at about 9:45 a.m. CT on Wednesday.
"Crews found a working fire in the basement of the home. An offensive attack was initially launched; however, due to deteriorating conditions and with compromised floors, crews were forced to exit the structure and fight the fire defensively," the city said in a statement.
"Heavy equipment was brought in to bring down portions of the house to allow firefighters access to hotspots."
By midday, the bungalow was completely engulfed with thick smoke. The fire was under control by 4 p.m. although crews remained on scene until nearly 11 p.m. to extinguish hot spots, the city said.
"It's well involved in there. [The fire has] got quite a good hold in the basement and in the walls of the structure," said Drohomereski.
Several factors made the fire particularly difficult to put out, he said. The house is large and maze-like, and smoke inside blacked out nearly all visibility.
"They weren't able to locate the fire as quickly as they wanted and the floors became unstable. At that point, we had to bring crews out for their own safety," Drohomereski said.
The bungalow stands at the end of a narrow lane, making it impossible to bring in ladders to fight the fire from above, Drohomereski said.
That limited what firefighters could do, he said.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
There's no damage estimate yet or indication whether part of the home can be salvaged, Drohomereski said.
As of late Wednesday, Wellington remained closed to traffic from Guelph to Waverley streets. The city is advising drivers to use other routes.
"Motorists in the area should exercise caution as the water used to fight the fire covered the roadway and has now frozen. The city will be monitoring the area and applying sand and de-icing agents as required," the city said.
WFPS crews on scene at a house fire in the 800 block of Wellington Crescent. Traffic is being rerouted, and residents are asked to avoid the area. Individuals with respiratory issues are encouraged to stay indoors to avoid the smoke. <a href="https://t.co/rGncgPqojj">pic.twitter.com/rGncgPqojj</a>—@cityofwinnipeg
With files from Laura Glowacki