Fire causes evacuation at Yellowknife apartment building
'I realized, holy smokes, that's not just something on the stove,' resident says
Residents of an apartment building on Gitzel Street in Yellowknife were allowed back inside after a fire in a third-floor unit caused an evacuation for more than two hours yesterday.
RCMP blocked off part of the street around 7:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Residents of Ridgeview South say they heard the fire alarm go off around 7:15 a.m.
Steve Twinn lives on the third floor of the apartment complex, where the fire originated, and first thought the alarm was coming from another building.
When he realized it was his building, he went into the hallway to see what was going on.
"I stepped around the corner and I could smell smoke … and I noticed there was thick smoke at the other end."
That's when Twinn called the fire department. He says this is the second time in a little over a month that firefighters have been called to this exact same apartment unit.
After Twinn woke up his wife and son, he banged on all the doors on the third floor to make sure everyone else was awake.
He says he and another third-floor resident went to check out the fire coming from the unit, and it was much worse than he expected.
"We opened up the door … which was probably a mistake because the smoke just came bellowing out," Twinn said. "It was that thick. Just came right at us …So I said, 'Let's get out of here.'"
Nobody was in the apartment unit at the time.
Twinn says he saw a firefighter toss a flaming piece of clothing onto the balcony of the unit where the fire was coming from.
"I realized, holy smokes, that's not just something on the stove.
"If there was somebody in there I don't think they would have made it."
The cause of the fire is still being investigated.
No structural damage was reported, but the interior of the apartment was damaged.