'Scary' fire forces NW Calgary residents out of apartment
CALGARY -- Fire caused serious damage to a six-unit building on Kensington Road and 22 Street NW on Saturday.
The fire broke out around 6:15 p.m.
Tenant Julian Moore described the situation as scary.
“(My roommate) was in the hallway and said people were running down the stairs saying ‘fire, fire, get out as quickly as you can,’” Moore told CTV News. “We weren’t able to grab much of anything.”
About 30 firefighters responded to calls about a barbecue fire on one of the back balconies.
“There was heavy flame and smoke showing that could be seen for blocks,” said Central District Chief Innes Fraser.
Flames swept up the back of the building, damaging balconies and the building’s roof.
Moore said once getting to safety, he realized the magnitude of the damage.
“The smell of smoke was overpowering. From a distance, (the flames were) actually enough to singe my hand a little bit when I held my phone up to record (a video)...I was in shock.”
Witness Gary Frost watched those flames from across a lot.
“It wasn’t an explosion or anything, but it looked like the flames were coming right out at you,” Frost said. “It was quite bright.”
Fraser said the residents who were in the building when the fire broke out had all left the building safely before crews arrived.
No injuries were reported, but Moore says he believes a resident lost a cat in the blaze.
None of those living inside will be allowed back in the building for the time being.
As investigators work to determine if a barbecue was the actual cause of the fire, Moore’s attention has turned to his belongings inside.
He was new to the apartment and says he didn’t transfer over his renter’s insurance.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help some residents of the building who were without renter's insurance.
All in all, Fraser said Saturday was a busy day for the fire department. He has a message for Calgarians this long weekend.
“With the warm weather, people are out, people are barbecuing, and forgetting something they wouldn’t normally forget, so I want to remind everyone be careful when you have a barbecue or a fire pit. If you’re floating on the river, on the river today we’ve had a number of rescues, please be careful on the river, and I always say have working smoke alarms in your home, it’ll save lives.”