Two families homeless

Brad Works
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

Pets perish in blaze that guts downtown apartment

Investigators continue to probe the cause of a fire that left two families homeless when flames gutted a four-unit apartment building here at around 7 p.m. Sunday.

Were concentrating on one area right now on the bottom floor, deputy fire marshal Bob Orr said Monday from the site at 155 East Victoria St.

Two families homeless

Investigators continue to probe the cause of a fire that left two families homeless when flames gutted a four-unit apartment building here at around 7 p.m. Sunday.

Were concentrating on one area right now on the bottom floor, deputy fire marshal Bob Orr said Monday from the site at 155 East Victoria St. Weve got some more investigation to do.

The fire is believed to have ignited in the same ground-floor apartment where firefighters were called on March 31, after an apparent careless smoking incident.

Brian Keefe, who co-owns and resided at the building with his common-law spouse Christine Boudreau, said the unit where investigators believe the fire started was being renovated.

We were rebuilding, he said. We were supposed to put the drywall up today.

Two of the four units were vacant.

Orr said power to the apartment is believed to have been turned off at the time the fire started.

Its like a puzzle, Orr said. Were trying to piece it together.

As water continued to drip from the top of the structure more than 12 hours later, fire officials still had not examined the second storey.

The stairs were burnt so we cant easily get to the second floor, Orr explained to reporters outside the building.

Sunday, onlookers were labeling passerby Mike Fullerton as a hero after he reportedly kicked in a door and pulled Keefe to safety. Keefe was treated and released from hospital for smoke inhalation.

Keefe, who has owned the property for two years, said both families lost almost everything.

I just came out from our side now, he said. There was no fire there but they poured water on the house for five hours so you can imagine what its like in there. The water is halfway to my knees. Its like its raining.

The homeowner said the building was insured but he was not sure if his tenants, who he described as a young pregnant couple, had insurance.

Amherst police say at least three people were in the building at the time of the fire. Officials with the Canadian Red Cross confirmed they are assisting four people.

Keefe said one cat and five kittens were saved from the burning structure, but added two more cats died and a third is missing.



bworks@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Canadian Red Cross

Geographic location: Amherst

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments