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Calgary condo complex fire displaces dozens of people

Click to play video: 'Large Calgary condo fire forces dozens from their homes'
Large Calgary condo fire forces dozens from their homes
WATCH: Crews are assessing the damage after a large condo fire forced dozens of Calgarians from their homes. Michael King reports – Jun 24, 2024

Dozens of Calgarians and their pets do not yet know when or if they will be able to return to their homes after a fire broke out at a condo complex in the city’s southeast on Sunday night.

There were no reports of injuries.

The Calgary Fire Department said crews were called to the Prestwick Villas condo complex at about 10 p.m. and a second alarm was called “to ensure adequate resources on scene.”

“Upon arrival, fire crews faced significant smoke and flame from an exterior corner and soon after, the entire roof of one of the buildings,” the CFD said in a news release. “Firefighters quickly initiated an exterior fire attack with master streams, both from the ground and from an elevated position on aerial apparatus. Interior attack and searches were conducted in co-ordination with the exterior efforts.

“Residences on all sides were protected by crews operating exposure lines.”

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The CFD said an entire building that is part of the condo complex sustained “severe damage” to its top floor and roof because of both fire and water damage.

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The fire was declared under control shortly after 3 a.m.

Barb Davies said she saw the fire burn on Sunday night and was shocked by how quickly the flames spread. She said it only took about seven minutes for the fire to move from a corner unit to the middle of the building.

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“The third-floor corner unit was on fire (and) it went straight up to the fourth floor and then right across the roof,” she said.

The Red Cross set up a reception centre for people forced to leave the 48 affected condo units. A fire official told Global News that at one point, there were 107 units that were evacuated because of the blaze. They said that as of 3:30 a.m., the Red Cross had already been helping 39 displaced people.

Lisa Doll said she “lost everything” in her unit.

“Everything is gone,” she said. “There’s about two feet of water in my unit.

The CFD said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

Battalion Chief Bruce Barrs said about 50 firefighters in total were called to the blaze and faced windy conditions.

The fire happened while Calgary remains under a state of local emergency because of water supply concerns brought on by a catastrophic water main break earlier this month. Calgarians are still being asked to conserve water and a ban on outdoor water use remains in place, as well as a fire ban put into place to mitigate the number of fires the CFD needs to respond to during the crisis.

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“Water considerations were a question in my mind when I showed up,” Barrs said Sunday night as he thanked Calgarians for their ongoing efforts to conserve enough water for firefighters to do their jobs.

“We absolutely needed every drop tonight and we were glad that we had that.”

In total, the CFD said firefighters used about three million litres of water to battle the blaze.

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