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This article was published 23/9/2012 (3352 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
Police cruising in the area saved five people from a burning house in the 200 block of Lansdowne Avenue overnight Sunday.
A neighbour believes the house was used as a small group home and said the occupants told her their fire alarms had failed.
"The fire alarms never went off -- they do fire drills all the time," said Pam Schoen, who lives directly across the street.
Schoen said she knew the couple who owned the home by their first names only.
The husband works in a factory and the wife is a non-teaching employee at an area school, she said.
"They run a group home."
One resident is a young woman about 20, and her two-year-old son lives with her, Schoen said. The fifth person in the home is a boy about 15, who is autistic and has fetal alcohol syndrome, she said.
All five made it out safely and are believed to be staying with friends.
Spokesmen for Family Services Minister Jennifer Howard and her department could not be reached Sunday.
Winnipeg police Const. Jason Michalyshen said police rushed to the house about 2:35 a.m.
Officers "immediately began banging on the front door, alerting the sleeping occupants. Once the officers were able to gain entry, five occupants were safely evacuated," Michalyshen said.
He said the officers were in the area on an unrelated matter when a passing motorist told them there appeared to be a house on fire.
The officers spotted smoke at the back of the house.
"It was getting into the eaves and soffits. The fire definitely was spreading," Michalyshen said.
The officers banged and kicked at the door. "They were close to forcing entry."
A woman answered the door, and the officers ran through the house, Michalyshen said.
"They proceeded to the upper floor and began waking people up. They weren't carrying anyone out."
Police said damage totalled $195,000, including minor damage to a neighbouring house.
"The police knocked on our door," said Schoen, who saw orange flames bursting above the house.
"My husband and I saw the flames and ran across the street in our pyjamas to make sure our neighbours were OK."
Neighbours brought the occupants shoes, blankets and coffee, she said.
"They tell us it started on the porch, and there's extensive damage to the second floor," she said.
"It was scary, and we're just trying to process it."
Schoen said she has started a Facebook page to appeal for clothing and other items for the baby.
Neighbour Chris Palmer said Schoen and her husband woke his family. At one point, about 30 people were out on the street helping the victims, Palmer said.
Almost all the damage is in the rear of the home. "The house next to it, the siding has melted," Palmer said.
"The cause of the fire remains under investigation," said Michalyshen.
Anyone with information regarding the fire is asked to contact investigators at 204-986-6813 or Crime Stoppers 204-786-TIPS (8477).