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Saskatoon condo destroyed by massive fire caused by improper cigarette disposal

Aftermath of a three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday. Emily-May Simmonds

Firefighters in Saskatoon rescued many people caught in a fire at a three-story condo building in the Sutherland neighbourhood around midnight on Saturday.

Crews battled an out-of-control fire after arriving on scene, the Saskatoon Fire Department said in a press release.

“They were on scene in two and a half minutes,” Fire Chief Morgan Hackl said.

Aftermath of a three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday. Emily-May Simmonds

Extraordinary efforts occurred from our fire service and other partners, because of their training, because of their coordinated efforts and because of their quick thinking. There was five rescues performed at this fire. Some of those people had mobility issues in their suites and could not get out. We had to enter a very dangerous situation to rescue these people. Close to 80 staff were involved,” Hackl said.

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No injuries or fatalities occurred as a result of this fire. Officials say they were still fighting the fire as of 1:15 a.m. CST and the roof of the building at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue was completely engulfed in flames.

People affected are being rehoused and taken care of by the Salvation Army.

A three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday.
A three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday. Saskatoon Fire Department

The Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD), Fire Investigator determined the fire originated in the Northwest corner of the ground floor.

Hackl said cause of the fire was improper disposal of smoking material in a receptacle immediately outside the property. They had a container placed there to dispose of smoking material, but it wasn’t appropriate in terms of having sand or water in that container. It was also made of plastic which is combustible.

Damage is estimated to be $5 million dollars.

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A three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday.
A three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday. Saskatoon Fire Department

“In the roughly 35 years for me, there have been other multi residential properties that have burned and all of these buildings had product on the exterior of them that was very flammable. So roughly 30 years ago, we had some multi-residential apartments where they hardwood and cedar siding and it was very a similar outcome to this property,” he said.

The fire department said they responded to the fire with two ladder trucks and one rescue unit. They said that their mobile emergency management command unit, two fire investigators and the Battalion Chief were on the scene within the hour.

Aftermath of a three storey building located at 108th Street and Bryans Avenue caught fire midnight on Saturday. Emily-May Simmonds

The burnt portion of the structure was partially taken down by an excavation company to properly extinguish the fire and reduce the risk of further collapse.

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