62 women return to shelter after fire
Published Saturday, January 30, 2016 10:56AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, January 30, 2016 7:37PM EST
At least 62 women were temporarily displaced after a fire damaged a downtown women’s shelter early Saturday morning.
Ottawa Fire Services received multiple 911 calls just after 2:30 a.m. for a fire on the shelter’s fourth floor. Upon arrival crews said heavy, black smoke was visible.
Tenants were evacuated as firefighters battled the blaze, which was declared under control by 3 a.m. The Salvation Army, OC Transpo and the Red Cross were on hand to help.
"Some people were not able to leave the residence with proper outfits," said Clement Giraneza, a volunteer with the Red Cross. "We provided boots, shoes and blankets for those who could not grab their jackets."
An OC Transpo bus was provided as temporary relief from the cold while firefighters got the fire under control. The women were then moved to a local community centre before being returned to the shelter around 11 a.m. Saturday.
"Everyone is okay. Everyone is safe," said Sue Garvey, the shelter's executive director. "We were taken by emergency services to an offsite setting. They took good care of the women and they were fed breakfast."
No injuries were reported and crews continue to investigate. The cause of the fire is unknown at this time.
Damages are estimated at $100,000.
CTV Ottawa is not releasing the address or name of the shelter to protect the privacy of the women staying there.