One person is dead following a fire at a downtown Edmonton apartment building Thursday night.
Deputy chief of operations Scott MacDonald said one other person was taken to hospital after a fire broke out in the 17-storey apartment tower located on Jasper Avenue at 117 Street.
The fire broke out in a suite on the seventh floor shortly before 7 p.m., MacDonald said.
Solomon Dawid, who lives in the apartment building, said at first he didn’t take the fire alarms too seriously because they’ve gone off before.
“It’s very bad, sad,” he said. “Next time I have to be conscious about the fire things. I didn’t believe it because our place, most of the time, is safe, concrete. The place is very safe.”
Fred Williams was at On the Rocks lounge when the fire broke out.
“We came out, all of a sudden there’s a big fire,” he said.
The building was evacuated and ETS buses were brought in to keep people warm.
“At this point, the preliminary investigation reveals five suites were damage by either smoke, fire or water,” MacDonald said.
MacDonald estimates about 500 people live in the building. It’s not known when people will be allowed to return home. An emergency reception centre has been set up at Victoria School for displaced residents.
Ten residents spent the night at the Red Cross. The Red Cross provides shelter, food and clothing for individuals for up to 72 hours.
The cause of the fire is not known. Investigators were expected to remain on scene through the night.
The victim’s identity has not been released.
“Our thoughts are with the victim of course, and their family,” MacDonald said.
On Jan. 27, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services estimated the damage caused by the fire was $500,000.
The cause of the fire was “undetermined… and still under investigation.”