Regina firefighters have east end blaze under control

For nearly five hours Saturday, Firefighters in Regina battled an east end blaze at a building set to open this year as a care facility for seniors suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia.

The fire broke out at the building that was still under construction on Heseltine Road just before 11:30 a.m. Fire officials said there were 11 construction workers in the building at the time the fire started, but they were all able to get out unharmed.

The building was set to be an Alzheimer's and dementia memory care facility for seniors, which was supposed to open in early 2013, according to the project's website.

Seven fire trucks and 24 firefighters tried to put out the flames that could be visible through the roof of the building form several streets away.

Firefighters used sledge hammers to break windows on the building's west side, and sprayed water from a ladder truck to reach the blaze.

Layne Jackson, with the Regina Fire Services said a fire can spread fast in an unfinished building.

"The building's under construction so it's not completely finished," he said. "So many of the fire safety features of the building won't be complete."

Jackson said because the building is not yet completed the fire hydrants in the back of the building are inactive, so firefighters used hydrants from the front of the building to get at the fire.

He added that there was some diesel in the building, but the amount of fuel is unknown at this time, though Jackson said "there wasn't a significant amount."

However, it is not yet known if the fuel contributed to the fire.

"In this size of building there are firewalls in the building so that played a significant factor in where we were able to stop the fire where we did," Jackson said.

He added that while part of the roof and some walls had collapsed, fire crews were able to save nearly half the building.

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