Residents displaced after fleeing from apartment fire in Port Hope
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.