Residents rescued after fire in Little Italy highrise

Firefighters work in the falling snow after a fire broke out Saturday afternoon at a highrise on Gladstone Avenue between Preston and Rochester streets. (Scott Stilborn/Ottawa Fire Services - image credit)
Firefighters work in the falling snow after a fire broke out Saturday afternoon at a highrise on Gladstone Avenue between Preston and Rochester streets. (Scott Stilborn/Ottawa Fire Services - image credit)

Ottawa firefighters had to rescue several people from their balconies Saturday after a fire tore through a Gladstone Avenue highrise.

Shortly before 2 p.m., multiple 911 calls started coming in about a fire on the Little Italy tower's sixth floor, Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) said in a media release.

Once crews arrived, they found heavy smoke on floors four through six.

Firefighters began doing door-to-door searches for people who were still inside, OFS said. They also used ladders to get people off their balconies and away from the smoke-filled hallways.

The fire was declared under control just before 2:30 p.m., OFS said.

Several people were treated by paramedics, OFS said. At least two were taken to hospital in stable condition, the Ottawa Paramedic Service told Radio-Canada.

About 40 residents will be displaced. A fire investigator was on scene Saturday afternoon looking into the fire's cause and origin.