Woman, 67, hurt after jumping from 2nd storey to escape Glace Bay fire
Fire chief says 'it would have been a totally different situation' if woman hadn't made it out
A 67-year-old woman is in hospital with serious injuries after she escaped a weekend fire by jumping from the second storey of an apartment in Glace Bay, N.S.
The fire broke out in the three-unit building on Lorway Street around 2 p.m. Sunday. Glace Bay fire Chief John Chant said when firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the injured woman in the driveway.
He said initially, they were told other people might still be inside the burning building, where six tenants lived.
"We were notified by bystanders that there was a possibility of two more children and a male victim upstairs," said Chant.
He said crews encountered heavy fire and heat as they tried to get inside. But he said they then found out everyone had escaped the building safely.
"It was pretty hectic to start," said Chant.
Witnesses said the woman jumped to escape the flames that engulfed the outside staircase that led to the upper storey.
"She got herself out the window, and they were looking for a ladder," said Kent Gillis, who lives across the road. "And people were hollering to her, 'Jump! Jump!' And she jumped, and that was good."
Chant said the outcome might have been much different had the woman not jumped when she did.
"If she had not made it out herself, or any of the other people, it would have been a totally different situation. The conditions on the upstairs would not have supported any kind of survivability."
The Nova Scotia fire marshal's office was on scene Monday to find out how the fire started.
The Canadian Red Cross is assisting tenants with emergency lodging, food and clothing.
With files from the CBC's Brent Kelloway