Cat dies, up to 20 people displaced after highrise fire in Ottawa’s south-east end

Minor injuries are reported and a cat has died after an apartment fire in Ottawa’s south-east end.

Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) responded to a building in the 2000 block of Halifax Drive, off Canterbury Avenue, around 7:50 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9.

Several 9-1-1 callers reported heavy smoke and flames coming from the window of a sixth floor unit. A working fire was declared while crews were on route since fire conditions could be seen from a distance.

The first rigs arrived three minutes after being dispatched and firefighters quickly made entry to the unit of origin, and it was determined the fire had already extended into the apartment above on the seventh floor.

The two elderly occupants of the fire unit were found sheltering in a neighbouring apartment and several sixth floor residents were on their balconies because the hallways had filled with smoke. The two occupants had suffered minor injuries and were taken outside to be assessed by the Ottawa Paramedic Service.

A number of other residents were brought outside and sheltered in an OC Transpo bus.

Firefighters located an unconscious cat inside the fire unit, but despite being administered CPR and oxygen, it died of its injuries.

The fire was declared under control at 8:20 p.m. and in total, seven units were affected.

The Canadian Red Cross and the Salvation Army are assisting those impacted, with 15-20 residents displaced. The remainder of the residents were allowed to return to their units following ventilation operations and a carbon monoxide check.

An Ottawa fire investigator has been dispatched to determine the origin and cause.

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