A fire in central Edmonton led to the closure of a portion of 124 Street on Tuesday morning.
Just after 9:40 a.m., firefighters were called to a fire in an apartment suite in the area of 124 Street and 111 Avenue.
A witness at the scene said he was driving by the apartment when he saw a man hanging on a cord from a third-floor balcony.
Innocent Mukiza said two other men came by and cut the cord.
“It was so scary. So scary,” Mukiza said, adding the men at the scene called 911. “I was so scared to see that situation.
“Within a few minutes… I started to hear the fire truck.”
Witnesses said the man was taken from the scene on a stretcher and loaded into an ambulance.
Dan Blackburn with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said the fire and smoke was coming from a third-storey suite when crews arrived. Seven trucks and 18 firefighters were initially called to the scene.
“EPS (Edmonton Police Service) responded as well for traffic and so did AHS (Alberta Health Services) for safety,” Blackburn said.
The fire was under control by 10 a.m. and the suite sustained extensive damage, Blackburn said. The suite one floor below sustained water damage, he added.
There are nine suites in the apartment. Blackburn said the Edmonton Operations Centre will provide short-term assistance to residents forced from their homes.
The fire forced police to close 124 Street to traffic between 111 and 112 avenues. The road reopened just before 11:30 a.m.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, police said their arson unit is involved in the investigation.
Police said a 61-year-old man who lives in the building was taken to hospital with “injuries believed to be unrelated to the fire.”
After being taken to hospital, the man was considered to be in stable condition, police said.
Anyone who saw the fire is asked to call the Edmonton Police Service at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers by phoning 1-800-222-8477 or contacting them online.