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‘Embers were flying all over:’ Multiple homes damaged by fire in Royal Oak

Click to play video: 'Fire destroys 3 homes in Calgary’s Royal Oak community' Fire destroys 3 homes in Calgary’s Royal Oak community
WATCH: A tight-knit Calgary community is rallying around three families who lost their homes in a devastating fire. Jill Croteau reports – Dec 7, 2020

The Calgary Fire Department says multiple homes were damaged by a fire in the community of Royal Oak on Monday.

The fire broke out in the 100 block of Royal Oak Terrace Northwest just after 2 a.m.

Firefighters arrived to find one home engulfed in flames that had spread to a second neighbouring home.

Calgary firefighters battle a house fire in the 100 block of Royal Oak Terrace Northwest on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. Global News

The CFD told Global News wind helped propel the flames, which very quickly spread to a third and fourth home.

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“Firefighting efforts were immediately focused on stopping the spread of fire to further homes, deploying aerial water streams and protecting exposures,” a news release stated.

The CFD said three homes were “severely damaged” by fire while “several others” suffered heat and smoke damage.

Read more: Fire causes extensive damage to northeast Calgary home

Click to play video: 'Fire destroys multiple homes in Calgary’s Royal Oak' Fire destroys multiple homes in Calgary’s Royal Oak
Fire destroys multiple homes in Calgary’s Royal Oak – Dec 7, 2020

Neighbour Yoon Ha told Global News he was sleeping when he was alerted to the fire by notifications from his security camera.

“It went off several times so I checked my camera and it looked like embers that were on my footage,” Ha said. “I heard a snap, crackle and pop and immediately checked the windows and saw that there were embers flying around.”

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Ha said it seemed clear the wind was helping spread the fast-moving fire.

“It wasn’t really blowing one consistent direction,” he said.

“The embers were flying all over — all over our house and the neighbour’s houses as well… That was a really big concern.”

Calgary firefighters battle a house fire in the 100 block of Royal Oak Terrace Northwest on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020. Global News

No injuries were reported and the CFD said the people living in neighbouring homes were able to get out safely

In total, nine homes were evacuated. The residents of those homes were kept warm in a Calgary Transit bus while firefighters battled the blaze.

“Approximately 19 residents will be displaced from their homes for various time periods,” the CFD said, adding that they will be assisted by the Calgary Emergency Management Agency (CEMA).

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A GoFundMe account was set up for the family of Julie Walyuchow, who lost their home in the blaze.

The family made it out of their home, but “lost everything,” according to the fundraiser, and their loved ones are trying to help them get back on their feet.

Friends and family are also raising funds through a GoFundMe for the Matthews-Keenan family, who are also in need of various necessities as they try to pick up the pieces after their home was destroyed.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

—With files from Sarah Offin

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