Res­i­dents dis­placed af­ter flee­ing from apart­ment fire in Port Hope

The Peterborough Examiner - - Local - KAREN LONGWELL NORTHUM­BER­LAND NEWS

PORT HOPE — Dozens of res­i­dents have been dis­placed af­ter a large fire at a Port Hope apart­ment build­ing.

Shortly af­ter noon Thurs­day, Port Hope fire­fight­ers re­sponded to the blaze in the 2 1/2-storey apart­ment build­ing at 48 Welling­ton St.

A huge plume of black smoke could be seen from as far as Cobourg.

The 24-unit build­ing has about 50 peo­ple liv­ing in it, res­i­dents said.

All of them es­caped and at least one per­son was taken to hos­pi­tal with smoke in­hala­tion and more were treated on scene.

Sec­ond floor res­i­dent Edna Greer said paramedics treated her for smoke in­hala­tion as she has chronic ob­struc­tive pul­monary dis­ease. She de­clined to go in the am­bu­lance fear­ing some­one else would need it more than her but later her daugh­ter drove her to hos­pi­tal.

Greer said she was in her liv­ing room work­ing on her com­puter when the alarms went off. She heard some­one yelling that there was smoke then ev­ery­thing hap­pened quickly.

“It was re­ally fast...we got out and the flames were fly­ing,” she said.

The fire was up­set­ting for the se­nior.

“I am weak and shaky,” she said. “It’s a hor­ri­ble thing — you don’t think it is go­ing to hap­pen.”

Greer praised the fast work of the fire crews and first re­spon­ders.

Lower floor res­i­dent Dawn Dowle had worked a night shift and was sleep­ing when the alarms went off wak­ing her. At first she thought it was a false alarm but when she went out­side she heard some­one yelling, “get out of the build­ing.”

She ran back and got her dog but left be­hind two cats, a rab­bit and tur­tle. Fire crews later brought out the rab­bit. When she left the build­ing she saw how big the fire was.

“The smoke was bil­low­ing out,” she said.

The fire started in­side a top floor apart­ment on the north side, fire depart­ment Chief C. Ryan Edgar said. The res­i­dent in that apart­ment was not at home when the fire started, he added. All the res­i­dents were ac­counted for, ac­cord­ing to a press re­lease from the mu­nic­i­pal­ity. Edgar said there were many pets in the build­ing — crews res­cued some and oth­ers ran out on their own.

The res­i­dents of the build­ing are ex­pected to be dis­placed for some time and the town has set up tem­po­rary ar­range­ments.

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