Skip to main content

'We had nowhere to go': Dozens displaced after fire damages Deer Run apartment building


Dozens of residents of an apartment building in Deer Run were displaced after a Monday evening fire caused significant damage to the building.

Police said a call came in reporting a fire at Meadowbrook Apartments at 13531 Deer Run Blvd. S.E. around 6 p.m.

The caller reported seeing flames and smoke coming from the third and fourth floors of the buildings, police said.

When fire crews arrived on scene there was a large amount of flames and smoke, which prompted them to call in more firefighters.

The blaze started on the back side of the building and moved onto the roof, according to the Calgary Fire Department (CFD).

In a video submitted from the scene, fire could be seen on the roof of the apartment building with a plume of black smoke rising into the air.

Another video showed flames and smoke coming from the balcony of one of the top-floor units.

Flames are seen consuming the balcony of a top-floor unit in the Meadowbrook Apartments complex. (Courtesy: Justina Leigh)

Firefighters contained the blaze to two units on the third floor of one building, but there was extensive water and smoke damage to other units.

A cinder-block firewall prevented the flames from spreading to nearby apartment buildings, but the utilities for the two adjacent buildings run through the apartment that burned.

As a result, three apartment buildings with a total of 36 units were evacuated.

Like many displaced residents, Benjamin MacGee, who lives across the hall from where the fire started, returned Tuesday hoping to collect personal effects left behind in the rush to leave.

“Last night we couldn't get our cars out. We had nowhere to go. We managed to find a friend that would put us up for the evening.” said MacGee.

“We don't even know when we will be able to go back and live there. That could be weeks if not longer.

Once they're done their investigation that's when we'll know, but (it’s) pretty nerve-wracking for the next couple of days.”

Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Carol Henke says there was significant damage to the top floor of the building and some of the roof collapsed, but no people were injured.

A photo from the scene of a fire at Meadowbrook Apartments shows where part of the roof collapsed. (CTV News)

“Tragically there were two pet rabbits that died in the fire. They lived in the unit where the fire originated,” said Henke, who added that the fire department’s investigation is not yet finished, but the cause is not considered suspicious.

“We know from all the major fires that we have responded to here in a city that the most common accidental outside fire start is the improper disposal of smoking materials and especially cigarette butts put in planter pots,” said Henke.

“That is never okay and you are literally playing with fire with that, and you are putting not only yourself and your home at risk but those around you.”

The fire department says most renters in Calgary do not have rental insurance. Residents at the Deer Run apartments where the fire happened, however, are an exception.

Several confirmed to CTV News that carrying a rental insurance policy is a stipulation in their rental agreement. Top Stories

Stay Connected