Christmas Day fire forces evacuations from west Winnipeg townhouse complex – Manitoba

Residents of a Crestview townhouse complex spent Christmas Day huddling in their vehicles as firefighters worked to extinguish a blaze in the west Winnipeg neighbourhood.

At about 11:30 a.m., the Winnipeg Fire-Paramedic Service responded to a report of a fire in a 24-suite townhouse on Kay Crescent, north of Hamilton Avenue, Winnipeg Police Service Const. Jay Murray said in a statement.

The city responded with multiple fire trucks, four police vehicles and a Winnipeg Transit bus, the latter to ensure residents stay warm on a day with a forecast high of –23 C. 

For much of the afternoon, those residents remained out of their homes while firefighters continued to work. Most stayed in their vehicles, effectively barricaded within their parking lot by fire trucks and hoses.

Resident Ken Funk said he was about to take a shower when firefighters told him to get out with any valuables or animals he may have.

He said he isn’t sure where the fire started.

“I just talked to the fire chief and asked him what was going on and all he said was ‘We’ll let you know in 30 minutes,'” said Funk, who only moved into the townhouse complex a week ago.

Ken Funk moved into this Crestview townhouse complex a week ago. On Christmas Day, he kept warm inside a Winnipeg Transit bus as firefighters worked to put out a blaze in the complex. (Bartley Kives/CBC)

City of Winnipeg communications manager David Driedger said no injuries were reported. The total damage is not known and the cause of the fire remains under investigation, he said.

“The fire was contained within the walls of the structure, and nine suites were affected as crews had to open up several walls and floors to extinguish the fire,” he said in a statement.

Police cadets closed off Hamilton Avenue between Redfern Road and Chapman Road while the fire-paramedic service went to work. Winnipeg Transit also closed a stop within the cordoned-off-area.

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