No false alarm this time for residents at apartment block

Three in hospital after firefighters battle blaze

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Three people, including a firefighter, were taken to hospital following an early morning fire at an apartment block on Sherbrook Street.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 23/03/2015 (2699 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

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Three people, including a firefighter, were taken to hospital following an early morning fire at an apartment block on Sherbrook Street.

The fire took place before 6:30 a.m. inside a third-floor suite at the Sterling Apartment block, 573 Sherbrook. The blaze was limited to the single suite, fire officials say.

Heavy smoke and limited visibility forced fire crews to rescue two residents from the floor via a window on the side of the building.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Firefighters battled a blaze at the Sterling Apartments at 573 Sherbrook Street Monday morning. The whole building was evacuated as crews extinguished the blaze.

“They were trapped basically because of the smoke conditions in the hallway,” district chief Tom Stadnyk said. “We had to get them safely out of the window. It’s a very small window; can’t get a big ladder truck up there. We had to use a ground ladder.”

The two residents were taken to hospital with smoke inhalation-related issues. A firefighter was also taken to hospital with an injured hand. All three injures are believed to be minor.

Fire alarms are common in the building, residents say. Some people needed to be convinced that there actually was a fire on their floor.

JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS A firefighter carries a tenant's cat to a warm vehicle as his fellow firefighters battled a blaze at the Sterling Apartments at 573 Sherbrook Street Monday morning. The whole building was evacuated as crews extinguished the blaze.

“There are so many false fire alarms at our building that I didn’t believe anything was going on,” offered resident Tracey Allard, who had her cat Mitzy safely at her side.

“At the first (sound) of a fire alarm, I ignored it. I just went back to bed.”

Allard said she knew there was a problem when someone was banging on her door. It was the fire department.

Stadnyk said this is the second time in a week firefighters have been called to the Sterling apartment block. That first time: a false alarm.

“It’s not uncommon to come to these blocks,” Stadnyk said of the numerous false alarms in apartment blocks in the lower-income areas of the city. “People do get a little complacent, but that’s why we have fire crews up to check every floor to make sure all the suites have been evacuated.”

Damage estimates are being tabulated. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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