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Residents in Edmonton’s northwest neighbourhood concerned over fire response time

Nobody was injured but an overnight fire on the northwestern edge of Edmonton caused significant damage to a duplex, fire officials said early Monday morning. Crews were called to a home in the area of 205 Street and Trumpeter Way at about 1 a.m. Eric Beck/Global News

An overnight fire earlier this week in Edmonton’s Trumpeter neighbourhood has raised concern for people living in the neighborhood.

Crews were called to a home in the area of 205th Street and Trumpeter Way at about 1 a.m. Thursday. Firefighters discovered flames quickly climbing up the back of the duplex.

A fire official told Global News that people on both sides of the duplex made it out safely.

However, some residents said it took longer than expected for fire crews to arrive on scene.

The fire woke up India Haines-Butler who lives across the street from the burnt home.

“It was quite intense. So, I saw it around 1:20 to 1:30 a.m. and I just didn’t want to go back to sleep until it was out,” she explained.

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“Because the houses are so close together it just made me nervous that it was going to spread. Especially since it does take the fire department a little bit to get here,” she added.

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The nearest fire station to respond to a home in the Trumpeter neighbourhood is Fire Station 29 which is roughly eight kilometres away.

“When you’re looking at a 13 to 15-minute response time, a fire that could have just been contained to just the outdoor area, or one room in the house. It’s given time to exponentially grow,” Sarah Griffiths, another resident in the Trumpeter neighbourhood told Global News.

“That’s really concerning especially with how densely these homes are built and how quickly that can spread from one unit to the next,” she added.

Ward Nakota Isga city councillor Andrew Knack said Edmonton Fire Rescue Service goes through a process every capital budget cycle evaluating population density, response times and route designs.

He said the force identified that neighbourhood as an area that needs a fire station. City council approved funding to acquire land and begin design work.

“You clearly don’t want to wait too long because if serious things are happening and you’re not meeting your response time, that can have life or death consequences,” Knack said.

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However, when Global News reached out to Edmonton Fire, a public information officer said in a statement, “At this time, there is no proposal for a fire station to be built closer to this community.”

Griffiths said she’s lived in the neighbourhood for nearly 10 years. Within that time she hasn’t seen infrastructure development in the area.

“Whether it’s a school, or a firehall, or road development, or anything of the sort, being here for a decade and seeing how much we’ve grown exponentially.”

Residents said this incident has them second-guessing safety in the area, and hope regardless of whether a firehall is built, they want fire crews to respond to blazes in their area quicker.

“I would say it’s definitely a concern. Maybe it wasn’t before in that this is a growing community but it’s only gotten bigger right,” resident Sam Tracey said.

“The fact that there’s not a firehall within a certain distance doesn’t cross your mind but then you see how fast a fire can destroy your home and your life right?” James Tilley added.

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