Crew fighting blaze at apartment building in Edmonton

Emergency crews are battling a blaze that sent residents scrambling into the freezing cold at a south Edmonton apartment building.

EDMONTON — Emergency crews are battling a blaze that sent residents scrambling into the freezing cold at a south Edmonton apartment building.

The fire reportedly started just after 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

About half an hour later, a second alarm was called, sending more than 50 firefighters to the scene of the four-storey building.

The building was evacuated immediately, no injuries have been reported.

One of the nearly 100 evacuated residents says repair work was being done on the boilers in the building, and the water had been turned off Thursday morning.

Mike Evans says his girlfriend started hearing alarms in the hallway.

“She didn’t know if it was just part of the routine,” he said. “Then, she went out in the hallway and it was just filled with smoke. She got the heck out of there.”

Transit buses were brought to the scene so that evacuees could take shelter from the bitterly cold temperatures.

Later in the afternoon, a team of firefighters working inside the building called out a mayday.

“That’s firefighters that were in dire straits, and called a mayday just to alert command that they were in distress,” deputy fire chief John Lamb said on the scene. “Nobody was injured, everybody got out safely.

“That’s when we assumed an exterior attack.”

Social services personnel set up a reception centre for evacuees at the Blue Quill Community Hall.

The Red Cross said an eight-member team will assess the needs of people who may have been displaced by the fire.

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