WINNIPEG – Fire destroyed two homes Monday morning and badly damaged two others on Jefferson Avenue.
“I could see an orange glow at my window and we opened the window and you could feel the heat on your face. It was crazy, so hot,” said Tyrel Stinson, who lives across the street from the fire.
Fire crews worked quickly to keep the fire from spreading to neighbouring homes but three others were damaged.
“Crews went into defensive mode and tried to protect exposures but because of the intensity of the flames, four homes became involved,” said Platoon Chief Barry Evans.
The estimated damage totals $400,000: $150,000 to a vacant home under construction, $150,000 to Bradley Larocque’s home next door where two adults, four children, a friend and five cats were inside when the fire broke out, and $50,000 to each of the other two homes involved, Evans said.
No injuries were reported but three cats were rescued from Laroque’s burning home and treated with oxygen at the scene. Two of Larocque’s other cats are still missing.
Larocque said he saw suspicious activity around the time the fire broke out.
“I heard some strange noises like running, footsteps, and I went and looked out the front window and saw a kid fall and run across the street,” said Larocque.
He picked up his phone to call police but was interrupted by a loud noise.
“Then I heard a ‘whoof’ and looked out my kitchen window and it was glowing red,” said Larocque. “There was something inside the house because there were fireworks in the backyard, but something inside the house went up really fast, so there could have been a gas can or something in the house.”
Evans confirmed there was a separate call made earlier in the morning for a fire in the back alley behind the houses. A bin of leaves had been set on fire, he said, but he could not confirm whether the fires were related.
© Shaw Media, 2014