Ottawa firefighters respond to carbon monoxide leak, two fires overnight

Firefighters responded to a blaze at a bungalow on Maria Goretti Circle in Vanier in the early hours of Friday morning, according to the fire department. Paramedics say three people were taken to hospital with "moderate" levels of smoke inhalation. Scott Stilborn / Twitter

Three people were sent to hospital and 53 apartment units were evacuated as Ottawa firefighters tackled two fires and a carbon monoxide leak in a boiler room in residential buildings east of downtown overnight.

Residents of a two-storey duplex on Morin St. in Vanier called the fire department at about 10:40 p.m. on Thursday night and were told to evacuate immediately. When they arrived, firefighters worked to contain a basement fire to the drive-down garage, according to a news release from Ottawa Fire Services.

Firefighters got the fire under control just before 11:15 p.m. and continued ventilating the affected building. While the fire department initially reported that a man and a woman suffered smoke inhalation and were transported to hospital, Ottawa paramedics confirmed later Friday morning that they didn’t transport any residents from this incident to hospital.

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Two pet birds perished in the blaze, the fire department said. The cause of the fire and the cost of the damage is under investigation.

Hours later, firefighters were called to a bungalow on Maria Goretti Circle, also in Vanier, just after 3 a.m., Ottawa fire said in a separate news release. When they arrived, firefighters saw smoke and flames on one side of the home and confirmed it was a kitchen fire.

Paramedics took three men to hospital with “moderate” but not serious levels of smoke inhalation, a spokesperson for Ottawa paramedics said.

Firefighters had the blaze under control just after 3:45 a.m.

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An investigator is looking into the cause and the level of damage at the residence as well, the fire department said.

Click to play video: 'Major fire engulfs English seaside hotel'
Major fire engulfs English seaside hotel

Still in the early hours of Friday morning, firefighters were called to a condo building on St. Denis Street in Vanier North by a neighbour who heard alarms going off, according to a third news release from Ottawa fire.

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When they arrived, firefighters measured low oxygen levels and carbon monoxide levels at 50 parts per million in a unit of the two-story building, according to the statement.

First responders asked 53 units to evacuate and residents were sheltered in an OC Transpo bus, the fire department said.

“Some of the residents reported headaches which are symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure and were assessed by Ottawa paramedics but declined transport to hospital,” Ottawa fire’s statement said.

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Hazardous materials specialists from fire department and Enbridge gas crews found high levels of carbon monoxide in the building’s boiler room, reaching 700 parts per million.

Firefighters ventilated the building and deactivated the boiler heating system, after which they allowed residents to return to their units, Ottawa fire said.

Adding to firefighters’ already-busy morning, first responders rushed to a kitchen fire in an empty, 5th-floor hotel unit at 185 Lyon Street after a passerby reported smoke and flames, the fire department said.

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The unit is being renovated and the stove top was being “used as a surface,” according to Ottawa fire.

The hotel’s sprinkler system “luckily” put out the flames quickly and damage to the unit was limited, the department tweeted.

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