Hud­son fire leaves 25 ho­me­less

Wa­ter time ques­tio­ned

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Phi­lippe Baron, Hud­son Fire De­part­ment Di­rec­tor, said fi­re­figh­ters re­cei­ved the call at 6:50 p.m. on May 4.

“The call was for an alarm in the buil­ding,” Baron said Mon­day mor­ning while stan­ding just out­side the ta­ped-off per­ime­ter of the hea­vi­ly da­ma­ged buil­ding that was home to ma­ny el­der­ly Hud­son re­si­dents.

The fire, which is be­lie­ved to have star­ted in a se­cond floor apart­ment, was ful­ly en­ga­ged at the front of the buil­ding when fi­re­figh­ters ar­ri­ved, he ad­ded.

The re­si­dents sa­fe­ly es­ca­ped the buil­ding, though re­ports in­di­cate at least one pet, a cat, died in the fire that was ex­tin­gui­shed at around 5 a.m. Mon­day.

In ad­di­tion, a Hud­son fi­re­figh­ter was trea­ted in hos­pi­tal and soon re­lea­sed for what Baron said were mi­nor in­ju­ries.

Fi­re­figh­ters from Rigaud, St. La­zare, Vau­dreuil-Do­rion, Pin­court and Ste. Marthe al­so re­spon­ded to help battle the blaze.

Baron could not say how long it took fi­re­figh­ters to get on scene even though the apart­ment buil­ding is si­tua­ted al­most across the street from the fire sta­tion.

At least one re­sident who was stan­ding near the bur­ned out buil­ding Mon­day ques­tio­ned the length of time fi­re­figh­ters to get wa­ter on­to the bur­ning buil­ding.

“They took so much time, al­most 30 mi­nutes to get the wa­ter going... they see­med to be ha­ving trouble with the wa­ter,” the agi­ta­ted man said. “The first time they went in­to the buil­ding it was with fire ex­tin­gui­shers.... so­meone could

Twen­ty-five Hud­son re­si­dents were for­ced from their homes and left ho­me­less Sun­day eve­ning when a 15-unit apart­ment buil­ding lo­ca­ted along Main Rd., just across the street from the fire sta­tion, was en­gul­fed in flames.

have died,” he said be­fore qui­ck­ly wal­king away.

Baron could not confirm or de­ny if there was a pro­blem with the wa­ter.

Help from friends and stran­ger

Baron said each eva­cua­ted re­sident was ta­ken in by friends or fa­mi­ly Sun­day night, which was rai­ny and cool.

“We cal­led in the Red Cross and they re­spon­ded but eve­ryone found their own place to stay,” he said.

Meanw­hile, Bru­net Pharmacy in Hud­son, si­tua­ted just down the road from the bur­ned-out buil­ding, ope­ned its doors to the eva­cua­ted re­si­dents.

Ow­ner Mi­chel Na­jm said he re-ope­ned the store, which had clo­sed at 6 p.m., to give vic­tims a warm place to wait.

“That’s what com­mu­ni­ty is all about,” he said.

Na­jm was able to dis­pense pres­crip­tion me­di­ca­tions such as asth­ma in­ha­lers, blood pres­sure pills and more, to re­si­dents who had files at the store, while he al­so han­ded out ne­ces­si­ties like too­th­brushes, too­th­paste and sham­poo free of charge.

He said ma­ny of those eva­cua­ted were clear­ly in shock.

“They were com­ple­te­ly de­vas­ta­ted” he no­ted, ad­ding some re­si­dents will pro­ba­bly need fol­low-up psy­cho­lo­gi­cal ser­vices to deal with the loss. The se­cond floor of the buil­ding is des­troyed, Baron said, ad­ding, the first floor suf­fe­red wa­ter and smoke da­mage. Fi­re­figh­ters were able to re­co­ver some per­so­nal items from the buil­ding.

PHO­TO KRIS­TI­NA ED­SON

Hud­son fi­re­figh­ters conti­nued to in­ves­ti­gate the blaze Mon­day

mor­ning.

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