Nova Scotia

'Stubborn' fire in Whitney Pier leaves five people homeless

Five people are homeless after an early morning fire in Whitney Pier. The blaze broke out in a building on the corner of Ferris and Roberts streets.

No one was hurt in the blaze, but a four-unit building was heavily damaged

Five people are homeless after a fire in this apartment building in Whitney Pier on Thursday morning. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

Five people are homeless after an early morning fire in Whitney Pier.

The blaze happened at a four unit building on the corner of Ferris and Roberts streets at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. 

No one was hurt.

When firefighters arrived on scene, the fire was extending from outside to the interior of the apartment complex.

"This building's been renovated a number of times over the years, and there's a couple of different roof systems on (it)," said Paul Ferguson, a platoon chief with Cape Breton Regional Fire Service. "I believe years ago it was operated as a corner store before it was converted into a four unit building."

On Twitter, fire chief Michael Seth called the blaze "stubborn," and asked people to avoid the area if possible.

Crews were called to the fire at the corner of Ferris and Roberts streets at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. (Brent Kelloway/CBC)

Ferguson said crews had to "chase" the fire because it was so difficult to get at. 

"We transitioned from an offensive attack to a defensive at one time, then we changed tactics again and we finally got inside with a lot of hard work and determination," said Ferguson.

A portion of Victoria Road was blocked off around the Ferris Street area to allow fire units to draw water directly from the hydrant located there.

The siding on some neighbouring homes received minor damage.

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