Nine people including four children were forced out of an apartment building after a fire on McCallum Road in Marshfield, P.E.I., Wednesday afternoon.
Five residents were at the four-unit building when the fire started. No one was hurt but a kitten died in the fire.
The North Shore Fire Department and Charlottetown Station 2 responded to the call around 1:15 p.m.
North Shore Fire Chief Jason Blackman says about 40 firefighters were on the scene for about five hours battling the blaze.
The Canadian Red Cross said it is helping three families with emergency lodging, food and clothing.
Heat causes problems
The way the house was constructed made it difficult to extinguish the fire, Blackman said.
"How the units were constructed and built, there was a lot of cavities," he said, adding an excavator had to be brought in to knock out the steel roof.
The heat of the day also complicated the operation.
"You have to do very short shifts, and again that's part of the reason why we did the excavator. … We had already spent approximately two hours fighting it at that point making no real progress because of the way it was built," Blackman said.
"So at that point I didn't want to exert anymore of the firefighters. They were pretty well burnt at that time. It does take a toll on them … inside the structure, in 38 degree heat, plus the heat of the fire, you can only go for a very short period of time."
Blackman said one Charlottetown firefighter was treated for heat exhaustion at hospital and released Wednesday night.
He also said he thinks the house is damaged beyond repair.
"I'd say the house is totalled. Basically the top floor came off on the one end, and in doing so, with the extent of the fire on that end of the building it kind of collapsed the second storey," he said.
The cause of the fire is being investigated by the province's fire marshal.
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