December 5, 2017
Released: 1:03 p.m.
Winnipeg, MB – At 10:45 p.m. on Monday, December 4, 2017, Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) crews responded to a report of smoke on the second floor of a three-story apartment block at 489 Furby Street. Upon arrival on scene, crews found a number of residents calling for assistance from their windows.
“I would like to commend WFPS firefighters and paramedics for their rapid response to this incident,” said Chief John Lane. “This was a quickly evolving situation and posed significant risk of life to occupants of the building. Without the exemplary rescue efforts of firefighters, the professional medical treatment delivered by paramedics, and the effective management of the scene by the Platoon Chief, District Chief, and Medical Supervisors, the outcome of this fire could have been much different.”
Fire crews adopted an offensive combined fire attack and rescue strategy. This approach required firefighters to immediately enter the building while simultaneously trying to extinguish the fire. Multiple residents were assisted out of the building and several occupants sustained fire related injuries. Paramedics on scene treated evacuated residents and transported three people to hospital. Evacuated residents were sheltered inside buses supplied by Winnipeg Transit.
Fire crews attempted to contain the fire to a second floor suite, but the fire spread to the third floor. Fire crews were able to conduct a complete search of the building for additional occupants before a defensive fire strategy was declared and fire crews were required to exit the building.
The apartment block sustained major damage and large amounts of smoke entered neighbouring buildings. Due to extreme weather conditions, heavy water streams caused water buildup around the building and water entered an adjacent structure.
This fire required a large response from the WFPS with nearly 60 crew members participating in the incident. Due to weather conditions and the length of the response, crew members were rotated to provide time for recovery/rehab.
WFPS was also assisted by the City of Winnipeg’s Emergency Social Services team who worked to help displaced residents. Staff from the Public Works Department also attended the scene to help with water accumulation on the street.
WFPS investigators remain on scene and the cause of the fire is under investigation.