Fire at Edward Street social housing complex

Firefighters assess an apartment fire before going in to attack the blaze at 15 Edward Street on April 5, 2015. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – A person has been pulled from a burning apartment at a social housing complex on Edward Street in the heart of Le Village.

The fire started in a one-bedroom apartment on the third floor of Residence Edward around 6:30 Sunday night.

Norma Gareau, who lives on the tenth floor, tells Cornwall Newswatch the woman who lived in the burned out apartment was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, had problems with alcohol and was a smoker.

“My son was fixing my TV and the thing (alarm) went off because they have tests once a month we got to press the button. So I went to press the button and it wouldn’t go (off). So my son say’s, ‘I smell smoke, get out of here!’,” Gareau says.

“I hope they get her out…she has Alzheimer’s,” Gareau added.

Water pours off a third floor balcony at Residence Edward after a fire in an apartment at the social housing complex on April 5, 2015. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
Water pours off a third floor balcony at Residence Edward after a fire in an apartment at the social housing complex on April 5, 2015. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

Paramedics had gone into the north stairwell to access the apartment but came out moments later without a patient and packed up their equipment.

The fire department later said in a release that one person was “removed” from the building but didn’t state the condition of the victim.

The Ontario Fire Marshal and an investigator from the Cornwall Community Police Service’s Forensic Identification Unit spent most of the night in the apartment collecting evidence.

A Cornwall Community Police officer from the Forensic Identification Unit spent roughly five hours at the scene of an apartment fire on Edward Street on April 5, 2015 after an apartment. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)
A Cornwall Community Police officer from the Forensic Identification Unit spent roughly five hours at the scene of an apartment fire on Edward Street on April 5, 2015 after an apartment. (Cornwall Newswatch/Bill Kingston)

A Cornwall Transit bus was brought for a while to allow residents on the affected floor of the building to seek shelter from the chilly night.

They were allowed to return later after firefighters used large fans to air out the building.

A Cornwall police cruiser was stationed outside the apartment building overnight.

The 108 unit housing complex is run by the Cornwall and Area Housing Corporation.

This is the third Easter weekend fire in SD&G after a deadly blaze early Friday morning on Sixth Street West and a suspicious fire the same day in a clubhouse in Williamstown.

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