Monday, June 30, 2008

Ottawa Mattress Fire

A mattress fire late last night forced the evacuation of an Ottawa Housing building and sent at least one man to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
The Ottawa Fire Department was called to a five-storey apartment building at 1390 LePage Ave. at around 10:15 p.m.
A tenant on the third floor reported that a mattress in their apartment was on fire, but by the time firefighters arrived, the burning mattress had been dragged into the stairwell, causing the building's upper three floors to fill with smoke.
"They did what they thought was right, but it didn't make our jobs any easier," said District Chief Lyle Fraser.
The charred remains of the mattress were piled on the lawn near an entrance on the building's east end.
One man who looked to be in his 40s was treated with oxygen at the scene and taken to hospital for smoke inhalation. At least two other people were treated for smoke inhalation at the scene.
A fire fighter cut his hand on a broken window and was taken to hospital for stitches.
The parking lot in front of the two-tone brown brick building was packed with residents from the building, as well as a neighbouring building at 1400 LePage Ave.
That building was not evacuated, but Mr. Fraser reported that smoke had wafted into the upper floors.
Many were senior citizens who depend on wheelchairs or walkers to get around and needed assistance getting out of the building.
Alexandra Travella was spending the night with her 86-year-old mother, Evelyn Goshko, a resident on the second floor.
When the fire alarm went off, Ms. Travella went down to the parking lot to speak with firefighters before going back upstairs to evacuate her mother, who refused to leave her apartment without her walker and her cat, Belle. Ms. Goshko has lived in the building for 27 years.
Kirkwood Avenue between Merivale Road and Chatelain Avenue was temporarily closed while a total of 36 firefighters and 11 vehicles responded to the call.
A fire investigator was on the scene. Damage is estimated at $5,000 to the building.


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