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1 missing as 2 houses burn in afternoon fire in northwest Calgary

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One person is missing and a dog is dead after two homes caught fire Friday afternoon in northwest Calgary.

Fire crews received 911 calls at about 12:20 p.m. about a single residence structure fire in the 800 block of Citadel Way NW, with black smoke coming from the basement.

By the time crews arrived, the fire had spread to a second home.

More firefighters were needed, so a third alarm was called.

Flames from a two-residence fire in northwest Calgary, Friday March 24, 2023

Fire crews attempted an aggressive interior attack, but due to the risk of collapse, they couldn't fully search the structure. The speed of the fire and deteriorating interior conditions forced fire crews to move to a defensive exterior attack of the fire.

The source home and the second home both were badly damaged and won't be re-occupied immediately.

A number of other homes were damaged by high levels of radiant heat.

One resident is missing and presumed to have fallen victim to the fire. 

"We know how many people live there," said neighbour Ratna Deb Roy. "Are they OK? This is the thing right away we are thinking."

Deb Roy said they grabbed their hose to try and help. She said they're in shock about the situation.

"We know all of them," she said. "It's like a family, right? They clean our snow, we clean their snow. We know all of the family who lives there - even the kids and pet."

Ernest Sarna, a friend of one resident, said his mom ran in and told him to call 911. As they were leaving, he saw the flames from the neighbours fire was spreading from around the bsement around the backyard gates. The fire eventually spread to his house as well.

The neighbours on the other side of the home that caught fire escaped with their pets, as the heat melted their siding.

SECOND FIRE

While crews were working on the Citadel fire, another house fire was reported in the 400 block of Templeby Place NE. Crews arriving at that discovered a working fire that they were able to quickly bring under control.

No one was injured.

Police and fire investigators are on scene working to determine the cause of both fires.

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