5 fires keep Ottawa crews busy over 15-hour period

A 15-hour stretch from Sunday night to Monday morning, saw fire crews in Ottawa respond to five separate fires in the city's central neighbourhoods. 

Woman at Glebe group home rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries

A fire on James Street was one of five that Ottawa fire crews were called to since Sunday evening. (Ottawa Fire Service)

A 15-hour stretch from Sunday night to Monday morning, saw fire crews in Ottawa respond to five separate fires in the city's central neighbourhoods. 

While most victims were able to escape the fires safely, Ottawa Fire Services said one woman in her 60s was rushed to hospital with life-threatening injuries after her Glebe group home caught fire.

Firefighters were called to the two-alarm fire at the Powell Avenue home at around 8:40 p.m. Sunday.

Many of the residents of group home had already escaped by the time firefighters showed up, spokesperson Carson Tharris told CBC.

One woman from the building's third floor, was rushed to hospital in critical condition, he said. 

Police and firefighters battle a two-alarm blaze at a Powell Avenue home in Ottawa's Glebe neighbourhood on Dec. 20, 2020. (Denise Fung/CBC)

The all-women's residential services home is designed to provide long-term housing and support to people with developmental or psychiatric illnesses or disabilities.

The fire was brought under control just after 9:30 p.m. The home has about 15 residents, all of whom will be displaced, fire officials said. 

Some of the women have been here for 20 years, so this is their home.- Cassandra Church, Glebe resident

Cassandra Church lives across the street and said she looked out her window to see half of the house "engulfed in flames." 

"Some of the women have been here for 20 years, so this is their home," she said 

Church has started a fundraiser to help the women which by mid-morning Monday had already raised more than $1,600.

Sandy Hill fire

At about 1:30 a.m. Monday, crews responded to a fire in a rooming house near the corner of Daly Avenue and Nelson Street in Sandy Hill. 

The Ottawa police's arson unit believes a 27-year-old man deliberately set fire to his unit before telling his neighbours to leave the house. He is charged with causing fire with disregard for human life.

A fire at this Daly Street residence led to charges against a 27-year-old man. (Francis Ferland/CBC )

There were no injuries, according to Ottawa Fire Services, but two people were assessed at the scene after breathing in heavy smoke.

Chinatown fire

At 3:40 a.m. Monday a call came about a fire on the top floor of an unoccupied building on Arthur Street in the Chinatown area. There were no injuries.

This unoccupied building on Arthur Street was one of the five buildings that went up in flames. (Francis Ferland/CBC )

St. Patrick Street fire 

Later Monday morning, crews were again called when a fire broke out around 9 a.m. on St. Patrick Street between Dalhousie Street and Parent Avenue.

A passerby noticed smoke and alerted residents and helped them to leave the home, firefighters said. The fire was under control in about 20 minutes.

Fire crews were called at around 9 a.m. Monday to a St. Patrick Street home. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC)

Two people have been displaced and are getting help from the Canadian Red Cross and The Salvation Army. 

James Street fire

Firefighters were then called to a three-storey building with about 20 residents on James Street between Kent Street and Lyon Street. The fire was contained to one bedroom in the home.

All five fires are being investigated according to Ottawa Fire Services and two investigators from the Fire Marshal's Office are helping with the Powell Avenue investigation. 

Tharris said since the pandemic began, there have been more serious fires than usual. He thinks it is a result of people being home more and using electricity, cooking or maybe smoking in the home.

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