Girl aged 12 saves neighbours from Charlottetown apartment fire

·2 min read
Maxine Warwick,12, woke up her neighbours to alert them of a fire in the middle of the night on June 23 on Norwood Road.  (Nicola Macleod/CBC - image credit)
Maxine Warwick,12, woke up her neighbours to alert them of a fire in the middle of the night on June 23 on Norwood Road. (Nicola Macleod/CBC - image credit)

When 12-year-old Maxine Warwick woke up in the middle of the night Wednesday to alarms going off, she thought it was her father's alarm clock. She woke him and discovered instead it was the fire alarms in their 12-unit apartment building on Norwood Road in Charlottetown.

"We didn't see or hear anything until this guy came running down our stairs, starting to bang on everybody's door, 'There's a fire in my apartment, somebody help!,'" Warwick said.

"I went outside and I started yelling 'There's a fire, somebody please help!' and that must have gotten people up. I didn't know it had gotten that many people up but apparently it did."

Several neighbours called 911 and police and firefighters soon arrived, Warwick said. There were still people on the third floor, so Charlottetown police performed a rescue, officials said.

Nearly three dozen people were displaced by the fire.

Warwick said she and her family watched on the lawn for about three hours as firefighters extinguished the blaze, before they and the other residents were taken to a nearby hotel.

'Feels really good'

It was "definitely really scary," Warwick said of seeing the fire.

Nicola Macleod/CBC
Nicola Macleod/CBC

Now, she is "still a little, like, shocked and still a little nervous," about what happened, but also proud she was able to help. Many of her neighbours have approached her to thank her for waking them.

"This guy he came over to me and he was like, 'The reason I woke up is because you were yelling outside,'" she said.

"It feels really good."

Warwick just graduated from Grade 6. She said she is upset about the damage to her family's apartment and belongings, though the extent of the damage is not fully known and some items may be salvageable. She was able to save a teddy bear, a blanket and her iPad.

Officials said much of the building is gutted, with toxic smoke and water damage to the rest. The cause is still under investigation.

The Warwick family, who moved from Ontario last fall, just bought a house and will move in the next few weeks. Until then they will stay at the hotel for a few days, then stay at a campground with family.

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