The Kitimat Fire and Ambulance Service responded to a large structure fire Aug. 27 in an apartment building located at 730 Kuldo Blvd.
Crews were first called at 5:36 p.m., and according to the Kitimat Fire and Ambulance Service there were people trapped inside the building when firefighters arrived. There were 14 firefighters, two engines and one ladder truck at the scene fighting the fire.
There were no serious injuries, but five apartment tenants and one firefighter were taken to hospital for evaluation and later released, according to Trent Bossence, fire chief.
The cause of the fire is under investigation, and Bossence said the building likely won’t be salvageable.
Ambulances from Kitimat and Terrace attended the scene, and Kitimat RCMP closed Kuldo Blvd. to regular traffic. Bossence said that it took around 22 hours to fully extinguish the blaze. Fire resources were deployed from Terrace to stand by and protect the rest of the community.
“Everything came together in the sense that, not just the firefighters, but the RCMP, [Emergency Support Services], the other tenants within the building and others in the other buildings, how they all come together to try to help these people get out,” Bossence said.
“It shows how everyone come together and made something that could have been absolutely tragic into a little bit better of a situation.”
The District of Kitimat set up an Emergency Reception Centre at Riverlodge for tenants who could not return to their homes, and others in the area needing shelter from smoke exposure. In a media release, the district warned of smoke exposure and advised people with breathing complications to close their windows and stay inside.
According to a Haisla Nation media release, clothing donations can be dropped off at Riverlodge from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and cash donations for those affected by the fire are being handled by the Kitimat Rotary Club.
“Haisla Nation staff are in touch with all tenants of the buildings to better understand their needs in the days, weeks and months ahead,” the release stated.
“Once we have compiled a list of exactly what would benefit these tenants, we will share a list of useful items for donations once we know more.”
The Haisla Nation Council purchased the Kuldo Apartments from Kuldo Suites Inc. in 2019.