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An apartment fire at 9 Glen Stewart Dr. in Stratford is contained after crews from three area fire departments spent almost four hours fighting the fire on Saturday afternoon.
All the residents were safely evacuated and there were no reported injuries. At least 20 people were displaced by the fire and Canadian Red Cross volunteers are assisting all of them with emergency lodging and meals, along with some support in the form of clothing purchases and some other basics.
The building is likely a complete loss as the fire spread to the roof, making it difficult to counter, said Kevin Reynolds, a captain with the Cross Roads Fire Department.
“Once it gets into the roof, unfortunately it’s very, very difficult to get at and to fight, so luckily the building was cleared … we tried to get at as much fire as we could from the roof, but unfortunately it basically had to breach through the roof before it can really start thinning out.”
The call came in to the Cross Roads Fire Department at 2:53 p.m. as a dryer fire, but when crews arrived within five minutes, the fire was larger than they expected, having spread through a second story window with all three floors on the exterior in flames, said Reynolds.
“We were told that it originated in a second-floor apartment, so we believe when it breached the window, something must have went down, probably caught the flower beds on fire and that’s why we had fire below the second storey.”
Immediately, a call was put out to Vernon River and Charlottetown Station 2 departments for support.
Police were on scene directing traffic and handing out water to residents who stood and watched the blaze from the Murphy’s Pharmacy parking lot nearby. Canadian Red Cross were also there, talking with residents and providing more water and blankets.
More than 50 firefighters and 15 trucks spent the afternoon and part of the evening bringing the fire under control, with crews starting to clean up gear not long after 6 p.m.
By 7 p.m., the firefighters were getting ready to hand over the scene, said Reynolds.
“Just some minor overhaul now. The fire marshal's on scene, they’re doing some investigating, so we’re just hitting some hotspots, making sure there’s no fire extension in behind walls or ceilings and we’ll be turning it over to the fire marshal’s office shortly.”
Personnel from Cross Roads Fire Department will remain on scene in the event of any hotspots or flare ups while the fire marshals conduct their investigation.