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Number of people displaced by serious apartment building fire (8 photos)

Fire broke out just before 2 p.m. Sunday
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A number of people are homeless following a serious fire Sunday afternoon in an apartment complex.

Witnesses said the fire broke out shortly before 2 p.m. in a second-floor apartment at 316 Kathleen Street, on the southwest corner of the Speedvale Avenue/Kathleen Street intersection in the north end of town.

"We were sleeping and my wife heard the alarm," said Ernie Behm, who lives on the first floor of the six-storey building that has roughly 80 units.

Justin Staines lives in the unit across the parking lot.

He said he was on his balcony and saw the smoke and flames so called 911.

"There was a lot of smoke," Staines said.

Photos taken by residents and neighbours show large flames and thick black smoke billowing out of the entrance to the balcony and thick smoke coming out of a bedroom window of the unit.

"We threw our clothes on and got outside. There were flames shooting out the window of the apartment," Behm said.

Guelph Police Sgt. Rodney Cox said on scene that there appears to have been no injuries and it was too early to tell exactly what caused the fire.

Building superintendent Emily Price said a woman and her boyfriend lived in the unit.

"Everyone got out quickly but a lot of people thought it was a false alarm," Price said.

"They went out on their balconies and then when they saw the smoke they came running out."

A city bus was brought as temporary shelter for those displaced by the fire and those with apartments close to the unit where the fire was were put up in hotels.

Others with units not affected by the fire were allowed back in them.



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Tony Saxon

About the Author: Tony Saxon

Tony Saxon has had a rich and varied 20 year career as a journalist, an award winning correspondent, columnist, reporter, feature writer and photographer.
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