Alex Sibirtsev's canaries warned him about a fire in his apartment building Sunday.
Sibirtsev, who lives at Broadview Manor, 120 Donald St., said he woke to the smell of smoke, the noise of a fire alarm and the sound his canaries were making.
"They were crying," said Sibirtsev, still wearing his pyjamas and wrapped in a blanket a police officer gave him.
"They weren't singing like they always do -- they were crying. I've never heard them make that sound."
Sibirtsev looked outside his balcony and saw smoke billowing up the side of the building.
"I said to myself, 'You need to wake up.' "
Fire Paramedic Service platoon chief Ted Kuryluk said everybody got out of the 21-storey building safely except the tenant of the fourth-floor suite that was destroyed in the fire.
"One male was taken to the Health Sciences Centre, unstable with burns," Kuryluk said. The man was listed in stable condition later Sunday.
"The fire wasn't in the kitchen. It is under investigation," Kuryluk said.
Kuryluk said firefighters found it difficult to get to the blaze because tenants were streaming down the stairwells to evacuate the building.
Winnipeg police said the fire caused an estimated $150,000 in damage to the suite and building.