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Man jumps from second floor to escape fire in Ottawa's Alta Vista neighbourhood

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A man is being treated for burns after jumping from the second floor to escape a fire at a townhouse in Ottawa's Alta Vista neighbourhood.

The Ottawa Fire Service says firefighters responded to a call for a fire on Tall Oak Private, near the Ottawa Hospital General Campus, at approximately 9:15 a.m. Thursday.

Photos posted to social media show flames and thick smoke coming out of the roof of a townhouse.

"We received a report of a fire in the end unit of a three-unit townhouse complex," David Matschke, Deputy Fire Chief, told CTV News Ottawa.

"The report was that there was a fire that started in an e-bike. That point is currently under investigation."

An Ottawa Fire Service spokesperson told CTV News Ottawa Thursday afternoon that investigators don't believe the fire originated in the e-bike.

The resident told 9-1-1 the fire was in the second-floor bedroom and they were unable to safely exit the bedroom.

"The caller made their way to the attached deck off their room and eventually jumped off injuring themselves," Ottawa fire said.

"Firefighters initiated a fast attack and advanced a hose line inside. The entire main floor and second floor was engulfed in smoke and flames."

Heavy smoke and flames were reported on the third floor of the unit.

Officials say firefighters had to evacuate off the roof and from inside the home due to "dangerous and deteriorating conditions" inside the unit.

An Ottawa paramedic spokesperson tells CTV News Ottawa a man was treated for burns and injuries from jumping from the second floor to escape the fire. He was taken to hospital in serious but stable condition.

A firefighter was treated at the scene for an injury.

Six people have been displaced due to the damage to the main unit and an adjoining home.

The aftermath of a fire on Tall Oak Private. May 16, 2024. (Sam Houpt/CTV News Ottawa)

The neighbourhood is home to many students. Sam Streicher, who lives next door, said he heard crackling and saw his deck was on fire when he looked outside.

"I just ran out, grabbed my school bag, and called 911 - that was my morning," he said. "This is a very quiet neighborhood. This is pretty out there."

Adam Khan was worried his townhouse nearby would be next.

"It started just on one side, and it just kept shifting over, and the whole time it was like, 'my God, is it going to like, get to ours next?" he said. 

The commotion spread quickly through the neighbourhood. 

"I remembered smelling the smoke, but I didn't think anything of it," Rohit Bompalli said. "Sometimes our friends just mess up their food in the kitchen, but then neighbours start knocking and ringing doorbells - it was aggressive. At that point, I went outside and there was just smoke everywhere."

Streicher added he's happy his neighbour was able to escape the flames. 

"I'm glad he jumped from the window - hopefully he's okay right now, but I'm glad he's not in the fire."

--With files from CTV News Ottawa's Sam Houpt.

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