‘Flames coming out of everywhere’:woman in fire

EDMONTON — Police say a house fire that killed a five-month old baby and left his 29-year-old mother clinging to life in an Edmonton hospital was deliberately set.

Firefighters responded to the blaze in the two-storey home in the Windermere neighbourhood in southwest Edmonton just before 4 a.m. Tuesday.

Eight people were in the home at the time and six got out safely. Police say all eight were taken to hospital, where the baby boy died.

Candace Worobec said she’s thankful she escaped with her two children, a dog and a kitten. The 35-year-old lived in the basement of the house and awoke to the sound of an alarm and banging.

She thought someone was trying to break into the house. But when she went upstairs to see what was going on, she saw flames and smoke, and she ran back downstairs, screaming “Fire!”

She woke up her seven-year-old boy and five-year-old daughter and she and another man who lived in the basement threw the kids and her dog out a bedroom window. They couldn’t find the kitten because the smoke was waist-deep, she said, but the feline was found safe later.

“I started screaming, ‘We gotta get out of here’ and I look out the window that I threw my kids out of and there was smoke around them outside, so now I’m thinking, ‘how bad is this fire that I can’t even see outside to my kids?’”

Worobec climbed out the window and then helped her roommate get out.

“I looked around and the landlord is hysterically screaming for his wife … when I looked at the house, there was flames coming out of everywhere, out of every opening there was flames, and you could hear things bursting and exploding and there was no way you could get back in, there was absolutely no way, the entire place was engulfed in flames.

“There was nothing I could do to help my landlord. It was horrible, so horrible.”

Worobec said the landlord, Cordell Brown, and his wife Angie Tang are the parents of the baby that died in the fire.

“I just witnessed them singing nursery rhymes to Hunter. They were just so happy, the cutest little family, in the kitchen singing nursery rhymes and now it’s all gone.”

She hasn’t talked to Brown, but her roommate has.

“My roommate says Cordell is just a zombie, just a zombie. My heart is just broken for that family.”

She and her daughter are physically OK. Her son has flash burns on his arm, back and shoulder. Worobec didn’t have renter’s insurance and is going through a divorce. She just moved into the basement at the end of June and was saving up for furniture. Three hundred dollars worth of school supplies were in her place. She now has nowhere to live.

“I can’t really feel sorry for myself because all I can think of is that family, I’m just devastated for them and I don’t know what to do.”

Worobec said a nanny and another man also lived in the house. She said Brown has a strict policy about drugs and drinking and when she moved in, a renter was being kicked out because the landlord found drugs in the man’s bedroom.

“These are good people. When you see them and meet them, the living situation may sound a little odd until you put yourself in it and you realize these people are trying to figure out a way to pay off a mortgage and pay it off well and they try their best to choose good people to put in that house and they’re just kind people and it’s really just what it is and to see this happen to them is horrifying.”

Just Posted


Waterfront area redevelopment plan to be updated

Red Deer College a top Hockey campus

Expedia Canada ranks hockey campuses

Looking out for neighbours to fight rural crime

Building community to address crime

Suspect arrested after collision in stolen truck

Driver faces charges in court today

WATCH: Red Deer rings in the Chinese New Year

A couple hundred fill Festival Holiday to ring in the Year of the Dog

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Ambulance’s slow response time angers family

Woman suffers stroke, waits nearly an hour for ambulance

Over-burdened refugee tribunal ditches legislated timelines for hearings

OTTAWA — The Immigration and Refugee Board is giving up on following… Continue reading

New paramedic team coming to Red Deer

Paramedics provide on-site care to those with chronic conditions

Toddler breaks leg after boot sucked into escalator at Vancouver airport

VANCOUVER — A Calgary woman is reminding parents about the dangers of… Continue reading

Liberals looking at creating use-it-or-lose-it leave for fathers, Trudeau says

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is raising the idea of creating… Continue reading

Trump gets angry about election meddling, but not at Russia

‘Weirdest thing’: Trump expresses anger, but not over Russian election-meddling

New doping charge could hurt Russia’s chance at reinstatement

Russia could lose its chance to be reinstated before the end of the Winter Olympics because of a doping charge against curling bronze medallist Alexander Krushelnitsky.

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month