One of the main routes used by party-goers headed into the downtown core for New Year’s Eve celebrations was shut down for more than an hour tonight. Ten units of the Hamilton Fire Department blocked King Street, as firefighters rushed to an east end apartment block, billowing smoke near Tim Hortons Field.
The fire gave a dozen tenants a frigid start to 2015.
It was not the New Year’s Eve light show that anyone wanted to see.
Tanner Brimner arrived before the lights. He was just driving by when he saw the smoke pouring out of the third floor apartment: “I just went inside. I got a couple of things for the neighbours. I banged on some doors. I got people out of the place. There was a bunch of other people here who were helping but they left when the fire trucks and ambulances came.”
Platoon Chief Ross Brydges: The one resident in there has gone to the hospital to be checked out for smoke inhalation.”
Trevor Boucher was visiting a friend, in the apartment beneath the victim: “I seen him. He came down in a blanket. He seemed kind of out of it. Apparently, one of the police officers said he fell asleep with a cigarette while his wife was doing laundry down the street. She came back and she freaked out.”
Not surprising really, considering the mass of equipment blocking King street, just west of Melrose Avenue. It turned out to be more than firefighters needed, but given the age and construction of the building, they weren’t taking any chances.
Platoon Chief: “Well, we upgraded the alarm because of the smoke, it looked like it could have been a possible fire extension. That is just to prevent any further extent to the building.”
The fire was quickly contained. Limited mostly to the one corner unit.
Brimner: “Everybody got out safe, the kids were safe, the animals were safe and everybody was well so overall, it could have been a lot worse.”
True. Damage was limited to roughly 80-thousand dollars, but it’s still an awful way to bring in the New Year.