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Fire breaks out at abandoned home in central Edmonton

Fire crews battle a blaze at an unoccupied house on 83 Avenue between 100 and 101 streets Friday, March 27, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News

About three dozen firefighters were called to battle a blaze at an abandoned house in the Strathcona neighbourhood Friday morning.

Crews were called at around 7 a.m. to a house on 83 Avenue between 100 and 101 streets.

District Chief Shane Kubiski said it appears the fire started in the basement of the house.

“We brought in approximately 36 guys because of the high-occupied load next door, which was a four-storey apartment,” he explained.

Residents in the apartment, as well as four people from the home on the other side of the house, were evacuated, Kubiski said. An ETS bus was brought in for residents to wait in before they were allowed to return back to their homes later Friday morning.

Kubiski said the southeast wind caused some challenges for fire crews, as did the close proximity of the neighbouring house and apartment building.

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Kubiski said fire crews were able to keep the fire contained to the one house.

“It’s very serious. We evacuate on the side of caution. That structure — no smoke penetrated it — but we evacuated precautionary,” he said.

“They’ve all been allowed to return to their apartment and we’re just cleaning up now.”

Fire crews battle a blaze at an unoccupied house on 83 Avenue between 100 and 101 streets Friday, March 27, 2020. Dave Carels, Global News

Kubiski said a decontamination tent was set up for firefighters, and Alberta Health Services was on site to do baseline medicals.

A sign on the front of the property stated it has been approved for redevelopment, Kubiski said.

“It was an abandoned building all boarded up. Power and utilities have been off for several years now.”

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The cause of the fire wasn’t yet known Friday morning. No injuries were reported.

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