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House fire on 1700 block of Avenue C North

For immediate release: January 15, 2020 - 2:21am

Just before 8:00 PM this evening, Saskatoon Fire Department responded to a structure fire on the 1700 block of Avenue C North. Three Engines, one Ladder Truck, one Rescue Unit, and a Battalion Chief were dispatched. The first Engine was on scene in less than three minutes. 

Heavy flames were coming from multiple basement windows of the raised bungalow. The crew immediately used two attack lines to begin battling the fire from two sides of the house through the basement windows. As additional manpower arrived on scene and a water supply established, the firefighters made headway with extinguishment of the main body of fire. Once it was determined interior conditions were tenable, crews attempted to continue with an  interior attack strategy but the floor had been extensively damaged and it was deemed unsafe to make entry on the main floor.

It had been reported that there may possibly be one tenant inside the basement suite which had been totally engulfed in fire before the Departments arrival on scene. A primary search could not be completed until conditions were deemed safer and visibility improved. Information was soon obtained indicating the occupant had been staying at another location for days. 

The structure had many void spaces in the walls along with wood chip insulation. It was very difficult to extinguish all hotspots and fire extension, but they managed to contain the fire to the lower levels of the home, preventing it from extending into the attic. The work involved was extensive due to the difficult structure and the extreme cold. Two more Engines did respond to the scene later in the incident to relieve exhausted crews. It took just over three hours to achieve an under control. 

One firefighter received a minor injury and was sent to the hospital for a puncture wound which was obtained while working  around the exterior of the structure.

Investigators from Saskatoon Fire Department and Saskatoon Police were on scene. The cause has not yet been determined nor has a damage estimate been given.