A fire broke out in the bedroom of a ninth floor apartment at 429 Westwood Drive around 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening.
The elderly woman, who lives alone in the apartment, noticed smoke in her bedroom and her windows popped out. She quickly ran into the hallway and alerted other residents.
Fifteen fire trucks, ambulances and emergency response units responded and had the fire under control by around 7:30 p.m.
The building was quickly evacuated. Many of the residents were elderly and required assistance evacuating.
The apartment block next door opened up their common area and let the evacuees warm up until it was safe to go back to their apartments. As well, the Westwood Community Church across the street opened their doors and provided coffee. Tim Horton’s on Portage provided muffins and donuts and the nearby Chicken Chef restaurant brought in food and drinks.
A couple on the 8th floor smelled smoke just before 6:30 p.m. and looked out their balcony and saw flames and smoke billowing out of the balcony over and above their suite.
The fire damaged the 10th floor apartment above as well as the 8th floor suite below. Hydro officials also attended and the power was shut off on the 8th, 9th and 10th floors.
By 9 p.m. residents were allowed to enter their suites starting on the 1st floor, successively working their way upwards.
By 9:40 p.m., most residents were back in their suites. Occupants of the suites below where the fire started were not allowed back in their suites due to water damage as a result of fighting the fire.
Disaster clean up specialists were on the scene quickly, using an indusrial-sized wet-vac to remove the water.
Fortunately no one was hurt in the fire. The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.
All photos by Doug Kretchmer