‘Exhausting and tragic’: Winnipeg fire fighters battle four fires in 24 hours
Published Saturday, May 18, 2019 5:21PM CST
Last Updated Saturday, May 18, 2019 5:41PM CST
It’s been busy and tragic start to the long weekend with four fires in Winnipeg over 24 hours.
Two people are dead after a fire broke out Friday morning on Selkirk Avenue in the North End. It was followed by nearby fire at a vacant house on Manitoba Avenue, a serious blaze at a home in Charleswood and a condo balcony in Bridgewater.
On Ghent Cove in Charleswood, flames metres high burnt a hole in the roof of a house. The City of Winnipeg said one person and two dogs escaped.
Neighbour Ken Mann said crews had to cut through the garage doors.
"There were a lot of flames and smoke just billowing out of out the black of it, it was obviously a significant fire, and within minutes there was just vehicle after vehicle after vehicle showing up so by the time everyone arrived here there were 16 pieces of fire equipment here," said Mann.
READ MORE: Firefighters battle three fires overnight
Hours earlier, fierce flames also forced two police officers out of this burning home. The officers were driving, noticed the smoke and pulled two people out of the home.
Emma Thompson lives next door and watched the fire from her window.
"All of a sudden cops pulled up and, all of a sudden pouf it went into smoke like smoke just took over,” said Thompson.
Fire fighters later found two people dead inside.
"I cry for them whoever they were because I saw the family who came here in the middle of the night,” said Thompson.
What started the fire is under investigation and the damage is extensive. The city said the home is expected to be a total loss.
Bear Clan Patrol executive director James Favel is helping a woman who lived in the home, and gave her food and information.
"Hopefully we'll be able to connect her with some furniture and things like that, maybe even help her get some resources for housing. I know she's not aware of the Canadian Red Cross program for personal disaster relief in a hotel,” said Favel.
He said there have been a lot of fires in the neighbourhood this winter and spring.
It’s a sentiment echoed by the United firefighters of Winnipeg.
“It has been an exhausting and tragic last few days for firefighters in Winnipeg. 2019 has been one of our toughest years we can remember,” said president Alex Forrest in a text message to CTV News.