A family of five is now homeless after a fire destroyed their fifth-floor apartment in Ottawa's south end.
Firefighters said they received 911 calls at about 1:20 p.m. Saturday from residents of an eight-storey apartment building at 3301 Uplands Dr., near Paul Anka Drive.
When they arrived, firefighters reported flames and black smoke coming from the apartment unit.
They quickly found out a woman was in the next unit and on her balcony, so they used the basket to rescue her before she was seriously injured.
Chris Lamer, who lives one floor above in the Gilboa Apartments, said he heard the alarm and thought it was a fire drill. But then he said he smelled smoke in his bedroom.
“A guy comes running down the hall yelling, ‘Real fire, big fire, get out now,’ so I proceeded down the stairway,” said Lamer, who closed all his doors and windows before leaving the building.
“I could see smoke coming from a fifth-floor apartment. At first it was black smoke coming out … and then as fire crews started to arrive there was a glass explosion, so the glass blew out and then the flames started jutting out of the actual window,” Lamer said.
The fire was out at about 2:00 p.m. before firefighters ventilated the building.
Paramedics said they treated four people at the scene for minor smoke inhalation. Nobody was taken to hospital.
But firefighters did say a family of five, two adults and three children, are now homeless. The Red Cross and Salvation Army are assisting.
The total damage is estimated at $190,000 and the cause of the fire is under investigation.