Pi News –
A fire in a residential building forced one resident to seek alternative means of shelter.
The fire broke out Jan. 16 in a two-and-a-half-story building in the 300 block of College Avenue. Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service crews responded at 1:05 a.m.
One person was found dead at the scene.
In a news release Tuesday morning, the City of Winnipeg said a transit bus was deployed to provide shelter to evacuees. It also said that an Emergency Social Services team had been dispatched to help evacuees find temporary shelter.
But resident Tamara Bard said the team never called her.
The city said in an email Tuesday that there may be a “possibility” that Bard “has not contacted support staff.” The city said that while crews will do their best to contact affected residents, “there are circumstances where this may not happen.”
Those situations could include evacuees leaving the scene to “stay with friends or family or live with neighbors or in their own vehicles,” according to the city.
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Bard said he lived in the basement of the building. She said she called the police after hearing an argument upstairs around 7pm on Monday night.
Police confirmed with Global News that they responded to what they called a domestic incident.
Bard said he called again after hearing more commotion. A few minutes after she called, she said a neighbor came to say the house was on fire.
“I took my jacket, wallet and dog and left. I went over to my neighbors house, put my dog there, and watched them put my house out,” Bard said.
He added that he had filed noise and trash complaints against the upstairs tenants in the past. He said Ember Realty, the company that owns the building, told him a month ago that the tenants would be evicted.
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Global News reached out to Ember Realty for comment, but did not respond at the time of publication.
Without insurance, Bard was left homeless and with few clothes to his name. According to him, he trusts his family and friends.
“I try not to think about my cats and the things I’ve lost,” Bard said. “There were boxes from when my kids were little. Children’s clothes and things like that … (and) pictures of my grandchildren.
— With files from Kathryn Dornian of Global
Winnipeg Avenue fire is accidental, sends 1 person to hospital in critical condition
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