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Fire at north Edmonton duplex sends 2 to hospital in critical condition

WATCH ABOVE: Fire crews were called to a duplex in north Edmonton late Friday night. The landlord at the home says two people inside had to be brought out by firefighters. Sarah Kraus reports.

Firefighters and paramedics were called to a fire at a duplex in the area of 118 Avenue and 124 Street late Friday night.

Fire officials said they received reports of the blaze from people walking past who said they saw “flames coming out the side window.”

“We found two people inside the building who survived the fire,” said Edmonton Fire Rescue Services district Chief Marc Zubick. “They are on their way to hospital now. Their condition is unknown.”

Global News spoke to Karla Rezendes, who said she was the landlord at the duplex. She said at around 11 p.m., someone banged on her door and told her she needed to get out because the other side of the duplex was on fire.

Rezendes told Global News she had just bought the house a few months ago, and rents the other side to three men in their 30s.

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“The tenants that I rent the property out to, they just moved in today. I don’t know what the cause of the fire was, as of yet.”

She said she saw two of the men being removed from the home by firefighters and that they appeared to be unresponsive.

“They were both transported to hospital and I don’t know what their condition is.

“[The] house is replaceable [but] the lives aren’t so we’re hoping and praying for the best,” Rezendes said.

On Saturday, Alberta Health Services confirmed two patients were taken to an Edmonton hospital in critical condition. There was no word on their condition on Saturday.

“It’s definitely nerve-racking — like nothing I’ve ever been through,” Rezendes said. “My main concern is just the tenants and their well-being for right now.”

She praised the firefighters for their quick work.

“They were amazing… Within minutes, they were on location, kicked down the door. There was a bunch of smoke in there but they got it under control pretty fast. Thankful for that.”

The fire chief said investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze.

“We arrived on scene and a witness said there were flames coming from the south side of the building. Fire crews did a quick attack and got the fire out quickly,” Zubick said.

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“The fire was confined, I think, to the south side of the building. The window was broken out, we did a quick exterior attack, which was very effective in extinguishing the majority of the fire.”

He said other people who were in the home had to find another place to stay for the night.

“The landlord’s unit is totally fine, and that’s why it’s so important that the building codes denote that we have a barrier between separate areas so we can keep damage to a minimum. More importantly, so we can keep tenants on the other side of that firewall safe.”

—With files from Sarah Kraus