Residents and pets (including a tortoise) were evacuated from a Calgary apartment building in the early hours of the morning. A fire broke out in the Mission area of the city on Wednesday, March 4, after a man reportedly lit himself on fire and jumped out of a third-floor suite. The Calgary fire forced the apartment block to be evacuated and there is damage across the building.
Police said in a statement emailed to Narcity that they were originally called to the building in the 300 block of 19 Avenue S.W. at around 6:20 a.m.
They were responding to reports that someone was “experiencing a mental health crisis.”
The fire was then started within an apartment suite at around 8 a.m.
This is when the Calgary Fire Department said it was called to the scene.
A spokesperson for the department said in an email to Narcity that smoke was coming from a suite on the third floor of the building and that the fire was brought under control at 8:42 a.m.
Police had already evacuated the building of its residents before firefighters arrived, but they did have to rescue a cat, a dog, and a tortoise.
They said that another cat was found dead in the suite where the fire started.
The fire department said that there is “extensive” damage to the suite and that there is further smoke and water damage “throughout the building.”
Steve Kary, a resident of the building, described the incident in an interview with the Calgary Herald.
He claimed that a man lit himself and jumped out of the third-storey suite. Kary said he landed on his back and looked “really badly hurt.”
He also confirmed to the newspaper that he had heard a man screaming and calling for help earlier, just after 6 a.m.
Police would not comment on the specifics of the incident.
But a spokesperson said that one person had been taken to the hospital in a “stable condition.”
They added that the building had been evacuated and “no bystanders were injured as a result.”
The fire department said it could give out no further details at this stage because the investigation is being led by police.
It has been a busy 24 hours for Calgary firefighters. CTV News reports that two homes were destroyed overnight on Tuesday, March 4, after a blaze broke out.
Just a couple of weeks ago emergency services dealt with an incident in which a man died after falling from a moving limousine.