Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 30/12/2011 (3310 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
WINNIPEG firefighters and paramedics on Thursday discovered a surprise among the rubble of a condo complex that burned to the ground a day earlier.
A scratched-up orange cat — matted and wet — was pulled from the ashes of the otherwise destroyed building. Sporting an eye injury, the animal looked scruffy but surprisingly healthy, said an onlooker at the scene.
It was one of two cats that survived a Wednesday-morning blaze that took Winnipeg firefighters hours to control and caused an estimated $3 million in damage.
Fire department personnel looked after the first cat, whose name is Wyatt, before handing it over to the Winnipeg Humane Society. The couple who own the animals will retrieve it when they return from a vacation.
The second cat was seen under the wreckage of wood and brick around noon, but was terrified and went back beneath the rubble, according to a bulldozer operator on site.
The feline, fittingly named Fraidie, has yet to reappear.
Alix Sobler, the owner of the animals, said she and her husband "are so grateful that Wyatt was found alive." She is asking neighbours to keep an eye out for Fraidie, a grey tabby. There are pictures of the cat on Sobler’s Facebook page.
"(Wyatt) is an amazing cat. We knew that before, and this just clinches it," Sobler said. "We can’t wait to have him back in our arms."
The fire broke out around 4 a.m. on Wednesday in the recently renovated condominium complex. The seven tenants in the building were all able to get to safety, but the building had partially collapsed by Wednesday evening.
The power was also out for 50 homes in the West End, with residents on Arlington Street and Burnell Avenue experiencing an outage that lasted most of the morning.
The power was cut again at 8:30 p.m., Wednesday as the condo complex continued to be demolished and cleared after the fire was extinguished.
Power was restored at noon on Thursday.
"The Winnipeg fire and paramedic services are doing a demolition on site, and in order for them to work safely we needed to turn our lines off," Manitoba Hydro spokesman Anthony Koop said of the blackout.
Darlene Melville, a resident in an apartment house on Arlington Street, said she and her 88-year-old mother were in the dark for hours without power and was "really frustrated" with the city for not restoring power to neighbourhood residents overnight.
"They shut (us) down," said Melville. "There are children and babies in our block. Our place was just cold... I feel sorry for these people (from the condo)... but all of us in the block are sick and were up all night.
"My landlord’s mad because his fire alarm is run by electricity," Melville added. "How would we have known if there was another fire? Our phones were out, too. Who were we supposed to call?"
The Winnipeg Police Service announced on Thursday the arson strike force investigation is ongoing, and a cause of the fire has yet to be determined.