Prince Rupert Fire Rescue battles heat of flames while mercury plunges

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was assisted by BC Ambulance and RCMP at an apartment fire on Second Ave. W., during the evening of Dec. 28. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)Prince Rupert Fire Rescue was assisted by BC Ambulance and RCMP at an apartment fire on Second Ave. W., during the evening of Dec. 28. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
On a night where the mercury plunged past -20 C with wind chill, a family member places a blanket to warm and comfort Joe Hall-Grandison after he jumped from a second-story building to escape an apartment fire when the hallways were too smoke-filled to exit from. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)On a night where the mercury plunged past -20 C with wind chill, a family member places a blanket to warm and comfort Joe Hall-Grandison after he jumped from a second-story building to escape an apartment fire when the hallways were too smoke-filled to exit from. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)
Joe Hall Grandison jumped from a second-story window to escape an apartment building fire and is comforted by his uncle after the ordeal on Dec. 28. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)Joe Hall Grandison jumped from a second-story window to escape an apartment building fire and is comforted by his uncle after the ordeal on Dec. 28. (Photo: K-J Millar/The Northern View)

A man jumped from a second-story window to escape an apartment building fire that broke out at a Second Ave. W. residential complex, on Dec. 28.

Prince Rupert Fire Rescue crew was called to the 15 unit Angus Apartments at 1127 Second Ave. W. just before 7 p.m. to attend a fire that started in a main floor unit, Joe Hall-Grandison, a tenant of the property, told The Northern View.

Occupants and bystanders stood by to watch the scene unfold, and fire crews extinguish flames through a first-floor window during a night when Environment Canada issued cold warnings that the temperature would drop to between -20 C to -30 C with the windchill.

Hall-Grandison said he and his uncle were sleeping when they heard the building smoke alarms and someone yelling to get out of the building because of a fire. Both men attempted to exit the building from their second-floor unit via the emergency fire doors. However, as soon as Hall-Grandison opened the door on the upper floor, smoke filled the hallway, forcing him back into his apartment. He lost sight of his uncle in the smoke.

“After I opened the emergency door, the smoke got really bad. I lost my uncle because he ended up going down the hall. I ended up going back into our place because I didn’t know what to do.”

His mind was racing, and when smoke started to enter his unit, his heart was pounding from fright, he said. He was scared.

“I didn’t want to wait for the ladder, so I just jumped out the window.”

Just as he did, the fire department arrived. He said paramedics checked him out, and apart from breathing in some smoke, he has no injuries.

Robin Russ, a building tenant, said many of the units are occupied by different family members, such as cousins and siblings. His sister Irma Russ is wheelchair-bound and lives on the first floor. Another sister, Rhonda Bolton, was visiting Irma, and whom she said had to be carried out of the building after first declining to leave. There was no wheelchair ramp or accessibility aids for tenants with mobility issues in the building.

Grandison-Hall said everyone in the building escaped safely. However, there were several pets that were not able to be rescued.

more to come


K-J Millar | Journalist
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