Residents shocked as fire rips through Port Hope apartment complex
More than four dozen residents are displaced but accounted for after a fire ripped through an apartment complex in Port Hope on Thursday afternoon.
Crews were called to the fire at 48 Wellington Street just after noon.
According to Port Hope Fire Chief C. Ryan Edgar, a fire broke out in an third-floor apartment unit and quickly spread to the roof of the 24 unit residential complex.
No one was in the unit at the time, he said.
Cobourg and Hamilton Township firefighters were also called to assist Port Hope firefighters.
“Originally when crews arrived on scene – with the amount of heat and flames that were involved – they were pushed back,” said Edgar. “It’s a very large apartment building with flames that could be seen from all corners of the roof structure. It was a lot of work but not soon after we were working on hot spots.”
There are no reports of any serious injuries to the approximately 50 occupants who live in the two dozen units, Edgar said.
Two people were transported to Northumberland Hills Hospital
One firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion by paramedics.
Bob French, a 10-year resident of the complex, says he and others were shocked by how quickly the fire spread when he heard the smoke alarm.
“I thought they were just doing tests so I didn’t really pay attention to it but it seemed to be going on longer and longer,” said French. “I opened the door up and saw smoke in the hall. I grabbed my keys and headed out. The hall was heavy with smoke and you could hear the electrical crackling in the ceiling.”
Several pets, including a dog, were also rescued from the complex.
However, police said several pets died in the fire.
Chris Turdle, 52, a second-floor resident, was also in his unit when the alarm went off.
“I thought it was just a test and I opened the door and I heard someone yell ‘get out there’s a fire,” said Turdle. “I got changed into some clothes and left as quickly as I could. I could see smoke coming out of the rooftop. It kind of shakes me up a bit.”
Witness Les Grimshaw tells CHEX News he saw a number of people receiving oxygen from paramedics.
Roads were closed from Wellington from Phillips Road to Croft Street; Rosevear Boulevard from Ontario Street to Wellington and Oxford Street from Ontario Street to Wellington until 7 p.m.
“All residents are accounted for and the situation is under control,” the Municipality of Port Hope stated around 2 p.m.
The municipality said residents are expected to displaced for some time and arrangements are being made for temporary accommodations.
Port Hope Police Service, the Canadian Red Cross, and Municipal Animal Services are also on scene.
Port Hope Police said at 2 p.m. the fire was under control.
Residents who require assistance with shelter are asked to go to the Park Recreation Centre at 62 McCaul Street to meet with the Red Cross and Victim Services. A municipal bus stopping at Rosevear Road and Wellington Street is available for residents without transportation.
The Office of the Fire Marshal, Port Hope Police and fire officials are continuing the investigation into the cause of the blaze. No damage estimate has yet to be available.
“It is too early to say when residents would be allowed back into the apartment units to check on property,” police said.
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