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Regina fire department responds to apartment fire

The public is asked to avoid the area in the 1800 block of Halifax Street as fire crews respond to the fire. Troy Charles / Global News

Regina fire crews responded to an apartment building fire in the 1800 block of Halifax Street on Thursday.

The fire was reported at 9:21 a.m.

Deputy Fire Chief Gord Hewitt told Global News it was reported that flames were seen from a window of the building.

When crews arrived on scene they found heavy flames and smoke coming from the building. Crews managed to get inside the building and pour water on the fire from inside. They were also able to do a primary search of the building.

Read more: Smoke alarm testing for Regina rental properties to restart next week

In an update later in the day, Deputy Fire Chief Neil Sundeen said there was no reported injuries and crews would have to wait to do a more thorough search.

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“We’re working with the owner of the building on making sure all occupants are going to be accounted for and then we will do a disassembly of the building and search it piece by piece,” Sundeen said.

The disassembly will take place in the next few days at the earliest, he added. This will involve using heavy equipment to take the building apart layer by layer.

“It’s just not safe to go in there. There’s so much fire damage, the building is unsafe to be in.”

Once the disassembly takes place, fire investigators will be able to determine where the fire started and the cause of the fire.

Sundeen added the fire is now under control with crews still checking some areas, which is expected to wrap up shortly.

The fire spread to the second floor and fire crews attacked it from a defensive operation outside the building.

Sundeen explained older buildings like this one have a lot of material that can catch fire.

“Old buildings like this are basically wood with brick overtop, so you’ve got wood burning behind the brick between the floors, the top of the roof and the back section is actually burned off,” Sundeen said.

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Hewitt added four pumps and one ladder truck were on scene.

A Global News reporter saw around 30 firefighters on scene. Regina police and EMS are also on scene.

Power was out in the area but has since been turned back on for surrounding properties.

Read more: No criminal aspect to house fire fatality in Regina, police say

Carmichael Outreach is currently sheltering about 30 people who were displaced by the fire.

“Around 9:30, one of our volunteers came running into the building saying that the apartment beside us was on fire so naturally everyone in the building sprung to action,” development co-ordinator Aurora Marinari said.

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Volunteers and workers grabbed blankets and jackets for tenants.

Carmichael Outreach started coordinating with mobile crisis, red cross and social services while tenants warmed up.

“We didn’t see anyone that was injured but it’s obviously a traumatic experience,” Marinari said.

“I think a lot of the injuries for the next little while are going to be more internal as people try to cope with the loss of their homes.”

The outreach had to suspend their programs for the day for those in need due to the power outage, Marinari said.

Marinari suggested residents donate food to the community pantry to help out. She said the outreach typically serves lunch to about 250 to 300 people during the day.

 

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