One person is dead after a two-alarm house fire broke out in Calgary’s Tuxedo Park neighbourhood on Saturday night.
Firefighters responded to reports of a house fire in the 100 block of 25 Avenue N.E. at around 11:30 p.m. Crews had to battle “a significant amount of smoke and flame showing from the inside as well as the exterior” of a home, according to a news release issued by the Calgary Fire Department (CFD).
Crews initiated a second alarm to make sure they had enough resources on scene to fight the fire. They focused their attack on the inside of the home and were able to put down the main body of the fire quickly, according to fire officials.
One person was found dead inside the house, according to fire officials. The person’s identity has not yet been released.
Another person was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation and was released.
Residents in a neighbouring home were also evacuated, however, their structure was not damaged and the family was allowed to return a short time later.
Fire crews remained on scene as of Sunday morning to confirm that the entire fire was extinguished. Authorities are also investigating to figure out what started the blaze.
On Sunday afternoon, Global News spoke to Brad Duncan while he was gathering what was left of his belongings. He was living in the house that went up in flames.
“I came out because I heard noise in the kitchen and that noise was the kitchen on fire,” Duncan said. “I knew it was a grease fire and I know from experience to hit it with a towel, and that didn’t work, so it was very quickly getting out of hand so I banged on everybody’s doors.”
Duncan says he met his roommate who died in the fire about six months ago. He said he had no idea his friend was still in the house.
“He was a good guy. He was a really cool guy. I liked him. [He had a] good heart,” Duncan said.
CFD says smoke alarms in the house weren’t working which posed a safety risk.
“The occupants of the building aren’t alerted to the presence of the fire or smoke, so it could mean several minutes and the difference between being able to survive or self evacuate or not,” said acting battalion chief Hank Ormstrup.
Neighbours say police had often been at the home on 25 Avenue over the past couple of years. Several windows in the house had been boarded up.
“Just random strangers going in and out and people that look totally normal and people that looked really sketchy. It’s all walks of life literally going in and out of that house constantly,” area resident Isabelle Cheung said.
Paul Bell lives in Tuxedo Park and said neighbours had often complained about “suspicious activities” at the house.
Calgary emergency management staff were at the scene on Sunday helping people who lived at the fire-damaged home find a place to stay.
On Monday, Calgary’s fire chief is scheduled to speak about the city’s large number of building fires recently and the safety issues that need to be addressed.