Ottawa Fire Service crews were busy in continued frigid conditions Saturday, with at least a half-dozen blazes reported between 2 a.m. and 8 p.m.
In Stittsville, a second alarm was called for a single-family home in the 1200 block of Kittiwake Drive off Chantilly & Sirocco crescents.
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Four occupants managed to escape to the backyard in their bare feet, but they were trapped there by the flames.
Crews broke down a rear fence to get them out safely and they were placed on one of the fire trucks to warm up.
“Firefighters immediately began treating them for frostbite on their feet,” the fire service reported.
Paramedics also treated the four people at the scene for frostbite and smoke inhalation.
A fifth resident managed to escape through the front door of the residence.
Also, a bird & a gecko were rescued as well. Firefighters had to break down a fence to rescue the individuals out of the backyard. 5 people total in the home at the time of the 🔥. #OttNews pic.twitter.com/OUkExYIpLN— Ottawa Fire Services (@OttFire) February 4, 2023
“A frog & a pet lizard were rescued from the home,” Ottawa Fire Services reported on Twitter, with a “bird and a gecko” later added to the rescued animal list.
Earlier, hundreds of Algonquin College students had left an apartment residence on Navaho Drive after an alarm sounded.
Firefighters followed smoke on the first floor and were able to extinguish a fire.
Students sheltered in a nearby campus building while fire crews worked. No injuries were reported.
Organizers announced later that the Black Box competition segment of the Canadian Culinary Championship had been canceled due to a major power outage at Algonquin following the fire.
An online post by the organizers said the championship would now feature two segments, instead of the originally scheduled three. A mystery wine pair competition on Friday and the grand finale on Saturday event were both scheduled for the Shaw Centre downtown.
The first fire of the day occurred at about 2 a.m. in a Daly Avenue apartment building. That blaze, in a bedroom, was quickly extinguished, Ottawa Fire Services said.
Residents were cleared from the building and sheltered in an OC Transpo bus.
One resident was reported to have burns from the fire, but there was no immediate word on their condition.
Meanwhile, Saturday’s fourth fire occurred just before noon at a residence on the 1000 block of Portand Avenue off Bank Street. Ottawa Fire Services said on Twitter: “911 callers were reporting the back of a single family home was on fire & flames coming from the roof.”
Firefighters were concerned about a potential roof collapse, so they remained off the top of the structure.
No injuries were reported, but the fire service said three people had been displaced by the fire.
A fire investigator was assigned to determine the cause of the blaze.
In late afternoon, just past 4 p.m., fire crews were also called to battle a blaze at Les Suites Hotel on Besserer Street in the downtown core.
A release from Ottawa Fire Services said the point of origin was traced to mattresses and couches on fire in a unit on the 22nd storey, one of three upper floors currently under construction.
The flames were contained to the unit of origin and the fire was declared under control by 4:40 p.m. There were no occupants in that unit or elsewhere on the 22nd floor, the fire service added.
High-pressure fans were used to ventilate residual smoke from the building. Because of water runoff, firefighters were checking electrical closets on each floor, and power was temporarily disconnected to the 16th floor and above.
There were no reported injuries, Ottawa Fire Services said. An investigator was also dispatched to the hotel to determine the cause of the fire.
Because of the blaze and firefighting operations, some lanes on nearby Dalhousie and Besserer streets were closed to traffic, but the Ottawa Police Service posted online at about 7 p.m. that those roadways had been reopened.
Then, in early evening, fire crews were called to extinguish a blaze involving a vehicle inside a garage attached to a home in Cumberland.
The 911 call reporting the fire was made at 6:11 p.m., and firefighters had it under control by 7:05, with damage limited to the garage. Once again, no injuries were reported and a fire investigated was assigned to determine the cause.
That fire, near the intersection of Cameron Street and Manse Road, led to a temporary shutdown of operations for the Cumberland-Masson ferry across the Ottawa River.
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