Man saves girlfriend, pets from Centretown fire

An Ottawa man ran into a Centretown apartment building to save his girlfriend and two pets, then he ran back in to notify other tenants about a fire that has now left more than 40 people homeless.

40 homeless, including five permanently after MacLaren street apartment fire

An Ottawa man rescued his girlfriend, her cat and his dog from an apartment unit as the MacLaren Street building was on fire early this morning.

Firefighters say five people will have to find a new place to live and more than 40 people have been temporarily forced from their homes after a fire at 384 MacLaren near Bank Street.

Ryan Holt says he was leaving his late-night shift at the Atomic Rooster across the street when he saw a fire at his girlfriend's apartment building.

Ryan Holt (left) says he helped rescue his girlfriend, dog and cat from the MacLaren Street apartment. (Ashley Burke/CBC)

He then ran into the building to grab her, her cat and his dog who were all in the apartment. She was sleeping through the smoke alarm.

"I was worried about her. Is she asleep? How much smoke did she breathe? What is going on? Is she dead?" Holt told the CBC's Ashley Burke.

Some of the tenants could have suffered worse injuries, according to his girlfriend, but Holt ran back inside the building to alert them about the fire.

"The smoke was bad enough on the third floor, if I hadn't have left when I did I probably would have passed out," he said.

Fire started on 4th floor

Firefighters, paramedics and police all responded to the fire just before 2 a.m. as flames were shooting from a fourth-floor apartment window.

When firefighters arrived they attacked it from inside the apartment and it took about an hour to get the blaze under control.

The fire directly affected five units and paramedics treated five people for minor smoke inhalation. Two of them were brought to hospital as a precaution.


The Red Cross and Salvation Army helped find shelter for those people displaced as nobody was allowed back in the building.

The cause of the fire is still unknown and the damage is estimated at $750,000.

Roads were closed for a time but have since reopened.