Massive blaze at Winnipeg apartment block displaces up to 180 people, sends firefighter to hospital

A massive fire at a Winnipeg apartment block has forced up to 180 residents from their home.

The fire broke out at the four-storey apartment building on Quail Ridge Road just after 7 p.m. Friday.

Crews battled the blaze using hand lines and aerial ladders and were able to extinguish it just after 9 p.m.

Everyone was able to self-evacuate, but one firefighter was injured and taken to hospital in stable condition.

Credit: Ryan Fletcher
Credit: Ryan Fletcher.

There are approximately 45 suites in the building, and the city’s emergency social services team is on scene and working with the Canadian Red Cross to assist the residents in finding a temporary spot to go.

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There is no word on the cause of the fire, but the building sustained significant smoke, fire, and water damage.

The building’s smoke alarm was still ringing Saturday morning, and water dripped from the fenced-off building Saturday afternoon.

Noah Cyr returned to the site after dashing out Friday evening with his father and two pets.

“We looked outside and saw that balcony was on fire, grabbed our animals, and left,” he said.

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Cyr lived on the top floor. The fire destroyed much of the building’s roof, leaving exposed charred beams.

“It was a harrowing situation,” he said. “The hallway was filled with thick black smoke. I got scared immediately and just inhaled a huge cloud of black smoke as I was leaving my apartment.”

Most of Cyr’s suite is destroyed, and he says it’s unlikely he’ll be able to recover any possessions. He is staying with a friend until he hears more from the rental company, Weidner Apartment Homes. As of May 20, residents are not allowed to enter the building as it is unsafe.

“I don’t really know what to make of it,” Cyr said. “Don’t take anything for granted.”

with files from Global’s Iris Dyck