Major Apartment Fire In Port Hope

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Up to 50 people have been displaced following a major fire in Port Hope on Thursday afternoon.
Shortly after 12 p.m. firefighters were called to a three storey 24-unit apartment building at 48 Wellington Street in Port Hope.
The address is just around the corner from the firehall.
When crews arrived on scene, flames were coming from a third story unit.
Bob French lives on the third floor said he heard the alarms going off but he didn’t pay to much attention because he thought they maybe doing a test.
“I opened the door and I saw smoke in the hall so I grabbed my keys I just headed out.
“When I got out into the hall it was really heavy with the smoke and you could hear the crackling in the ceiling and I just scooted out.”
When French got outside he could see flames shooting out of an apartment on the north side..
“When I saw it, it was coming out of the apartment on to the balcony.”
French has lived in the building for 10 years and said he was shocked how fast the fire spread.
“It escalated super fast then the next thing you know half the roof is on fire.”
French said when he saw the smoke he immediately left not taking anything with him including his wallet and his cell phone.
Members of the Port Hope Fire Department rescued numerous pets from various apartments throughout the building during the fire.
Chris Thurtle was in apartment 204 in his housecoat on when he heard the alarm and also thought it was a test.
“I opened the door and someone said “get out, there is a fire,” so I went in my room got changed as quick as I could and got out.”
“They test them all the time so it’s a shocker when it’s real.”
Thurtle said he doesn’t have insurance and doesn’t know whether anything is salvageable.
Judy LePage
LePage was reading a book on her forth floor balcony across from the fire when she saw the smoke.
“Oh my God it went up so fast.”
“It was more smoke, then all of a sudden there was a little flames coming through the roof and then away it went – it was terrible.”
Fire Chief C. Ryan Edgar said when crews arrived flames were coming from the third floor unit.
“When crews initially arrived on scene we were hoping to make it an offensive attack on the apartment that was involved, however we did had to change our tactics at that point to go to a defensive operation as flames had made their way through the entire roof structure.”
“With the amount of heat and flames, when crews first arrived they were pushed back.”
“Flames could be seen all corner’s of the roof structure.”
The fire damage is mainly to the third floor, but the entire building damaged because of the fire.
No one was in the apartment where it’s believe the fire started.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office has been notified.
Cobourg Fire Department and Hamilton Township were on stand-by in Port Hope in case of other calls.
Port Hope Deputy Police Chief Darren Strongman said donations can be dropped off at the Port Hope Police Station.
“People just started dropping off donations, toys, clothes, perishable foods.”
“We’re happy to take them until we find an appropriate for donations.”
The local victims services and Canadian Red Cross is on scene setting up a shelter intake location at 62 McCaul Street (Port Hope Rec Centre).

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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