(City of Winnipeg Release)
Winnipeg – At 5:50 a.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responded to reports of fire in a 4-storey apartment block in the first block of Sargent Avenue. Upon arrival on scene, crews encountered heavy smoke and flames coming from the building. A second alarm was called, increasing the number of apparatus and WFPS crew members on the scene, due to the potential for a high number of occupants in the building. Firefighters launched an offensive attack, while also completing a search of the building and rescuing several occupants. Ladder crews also rescued one individual from a third floor window. Due to deteriorating conditions, all crews were forced to exit the structure briefly and transition to a defensive attack. Once conditions improved, crews were once again able to enter the building and fight the fire from the interior. It was declared under control at 6:47 a.m. Two individuals were transported to hospital - one in critical condition and the other in stable condition. Paramedics assessed seven other occupants on scene but no other transports to hospital were required. Winnipeg Transit buses were deployed to the scene to provide shelter for the evacuees. Occupants of the building will not be able to return to their suites once crews complete their work. The City of Winnipeg’s Emergency Social Services was deployed in order to connect them with available resources. Several cats were rescued from the building – at least one which required oxygen. That cat was later reunited with its owner. Winnipeg Animal Services was called to the scene to provide care for the other animals The cause of the fire will be under investigation. No damage estimates are available at this time.