Calgary Fire Responds to High Rise Apartment Fire

At approximately 2315 hours on the evening of October 21, Calgary 911 received a call from the occupant of an apartment building on Elbow Drive SW.  The caller was alerted to a smoke alarm sounding in their neighbour’s apartment and saw black smoke coming from under the door.  The caller pulled the fire alarm, notifying other residents, and called 911 to report the fire. 

Calgary 911 dispatched the Calgary Fire Department with a full high rise structure fire response.  Upon arrival, the first crew immediately made their way to the floor and made entry into the apartment where they initiated fire attack and a search of the apartment.  The Incident Commander requested a second alarm to bring more resources to the scene, due to the size of the structure and the number of occupants.  Additional crews evacuated residents to safety and searched nearby suites for occupants. 

Upon searching nearby suites, crews found a second fire which looked to be from food left on the stove from a resident who evacuated due to the first fire.  Crews quickly put that fire out and ventilated the smoke out of the apartment.  Once all fire was out, crews ventilated the affected floor and suites and ensured that the air quality was safe for occupants to return. All occupants were able to return to their suites, except for the source suite, which will require repairs, thereby displacing one person.

Numerous agencies assisted in this incident.  Calgary Transit assisted with 2 large city buses to accommodate evacuees until they could return home.  Alberta Health Services Emergency Medical Services attended to ensure occupant, evacuee, and firefighter safety.  One firefighter was injured during the fire and was treated and released on scene. Fire investigators are on scene to determine the origin and cause of the fire.  Fire crews will remain on scene throughout the night to ensure all hot spots are extinguished and there is no further fire extension.

The Calgary Fire Department would like to share the following tips for people living in apartment buildings:

  • Know the locations of all exit stairs from your floor. If the nearest one is blocked by fire or smoke, you may have to use another exit. 
  • If the fire alarm sounds feel the door before opening. If it is hot, use another way out. If it is cool, use this exit to leave. 
  • Close all doors behind you as you leave. Take the key to your apartment in case you are not able to get out of the building. 
  • If fire or smoke is blocking all exits, return or stay in your apartment. Keep the door closed. Cover cracks around the door with towels or tape. Call 9-1-1 and let the fire department know you are trapped. Signal from the window by waving a flashlight or light-colored cloth.

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