News: 24 residents now homeless after north-end apartment fire

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Published in the August 21 2010 issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


24 residents now homeless after north-end apartment fire

Investigators have deemed a north-end apartment building destroyed by fire on Thursday as “not habitable,” leaving at least 24 people homeless.

Fire investigators say Bristal Bay apartments, 13115 69 St., is unliveable after a blaze started in a basement suite of the 15-unit, three-storey building before spreading and destroying all parts of the structure.

“It’s going to be a while before people can get back in,” said Tim Wilson, spokesman for Edmonton Fire Rescue.

“The building is not habitable at this point. There are some repairs that need to happen.”

The Canadian Red Cross is helping 24 people who lived in the apartment building — 15 adults and eight children — who have been unable to re-enter their homes after the fire was extinguished.

“Right now the families are in north-end-area hotels,” said Leila Daoud with Red Cross Alberta.

“We expect some of them will be needing long-term assistance.”

The Red Cross will continue to help tenants with food, water and shelter until Sunday, at which time they will be turned over to other agencies for long-term assistance.

Wilson said it is now up to Bristal Bay’s property owner to let tenants briefly re-enter the building to gather items.

The fire caused around $300,000 in damage, and while it is unclear how long it will take before the building is habitable again, a fire investigator on scene Thursday said it could be months.

The Edmonton Emergency Response Services Soci – ety is also asking for towels, clothes, unopened toiletries, clean furniture and cash donations to help assist in long-term care for the now-homeless tenants.

While only half of the building showed visible damage including melted siding, broken windows and charred walls, investigators say the blaze caused damage throughout the building.

Police have charged an 18-year-old woman with one count of arson with disregard to human life.

Her name has not been released.

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