August 11, 2017 9:35 pm
Updated: August 13, 2017 10:24 am

Dozens displaced by northeast Edmonton apartment fire

WATCH ABOVE: Edmonton fire crews were called to a large apartment fire Friday night

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Fire crews were on scene of an apartment building in northeast Edmonton on Friday evening.

The fire broke out at around 6:30 p.m., at the Victoria Trail Apartments in the area of 146 Avenue and 26 Street.

Edmonton Fire Rescue said crews arrived on scene four minutes after the 911 call, and the roof of the building was already engulfed in flames.

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“They tried to attack it from the outside and got crews in as fast as they could, but then they had to pull out due to safety concerns because the roof was compromised,” Deputy Chief Scott Macdonald said.

About 40 firefighters from 11 units were called to the four-storey building, which has 40 units. Macdonald said with the height of the building, it was tough to gain access. The way the building in constructed also made for a tough fight.

“There’s a common attic space that travels through the roof above the suites. It’s just the construction. It doesn’t take long once it’s into a roof to do that,” he said.

Dozens of people were forced from their homes as crews worked to contain the blaze. Roads in the area were blocked off to traffic.

James Johnson has lived in the building for about a year. He was driving home from work when he saw the smoke.

“I didn’t believe it was where I was living,” he said.

Watch below: Fire breaks out at northeast Edmonton apartment building

Joey Coombs lives in another building in the apartment complex and saw the smoke from 50 Street and Yellowhead.

“It hits me, ‘That’s the exact direction where my complex is,'” he said. “The smoke’s getting bigger, obviously, so I run again towards the plume and then I realize, that is definitely coming from our complex,” he continued.

“As I got closer, I realized it wasn’t my building… a huge sigh of relief, but then I just could not help but feel bad for all these poor people.”

At around 7:30 p.m., fire crews could be seen focusing their efforts on the roof. While the fire wasn’t completely out, the flames were no longer present.

The fire could be seen as far away as the Skytracker camera, on top of Manulife Place downtown.

It’s not known what caused the fire. Macdonald said there will be significant loss.

“We poured lots of water onto the roof so there’d be lots of damage to the suites below.”

Watch below: Thick, black smoke and large flames could be seen coming from the roof of an apartment building in northeast Edmonton Friday night. The fire broke out at Victoria Trail Apartments over the supper hour.

Displaced residents are asked to check in at the Bannerman Community League at 14034 – 23 St. By 8:30 p.m., 25 displaced residents had checked in with city officials.

Fire crews remained on scene into the night Friday putting out hot spots.

A fire information meeting is being held Tuesday evening at 6:30 p.m. at the Kingsway Legion for condo owners. Tenants are being directed to the Red Cross and to communicate with their landlords for more information.

 

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