3 people hospitalized after massive fire engulfs St. Albert seniors’ residence

Three people were hospitalized after a massive fire broke out at a seniors’ residence in St. Albert, northwest of Edmonton Thursday night.

Two people were treated for smoke inhalation and were in serious condition, and a third person suffered minor lacerations, officials said, after fire engulfed the Citadel Mews West Continuing Care Facility just before 8 p.m.

City of St. Albert spokesperson Cory Sinclair said both continuing care residents and independent living residents were evacuated from the building. 

St. Albert resident Jackson Brown, 17, said he spotted smoke and helped some people leave the building.

“All the alarms are going off and there was about four or five of us evacuating everyone, just going door-to-door trying to just get every one out,” he said. “Then the firefighters and police got here and of course helped us.”

St. Albert Mayor Cathy Heron said firefighters told her there was no loss of life from the fire. Heron made the remarks in a Facebook live video from the scene at 9.30 p.m. local time. Later, Heron told CBC that it’s believed all 110 residents had been evacuated from the building.

The building is located near the Sturgeon Community Hospital, between St. Albert Trail and Erin Ridge Drive, south of Erin Ridge Road. The fire forced the entire complex to be evacuated.

Police officers were called to assist firefighters around 8 p.m., St. Albert RCMP said in a news release. Police blocked off nearby roads and helped residents evacuate the building. 

Residents were transported by bus to a muster point in the Costco parking lot, RCMP said. The St. Albert Alliance Church has opened its doors to residents until others arrangements can be made.

Sinclair said residents and staff were brought to a local hotel and Alberta Health Services is assisting evacuees with medication needs. Staff will determine if alternate accommodation is required for some residents.

Residents evacuated the Citadel Mews residence Thursday night after a fire broke out that engulfed much of the building. (Submitted by Jackson Brown)

Fire crews from St. Albert, Morinville, Spruce Grove, Edmonton and Strathcona County all helped at the scene. A spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Services said some of its firefighters assisted with the blaze. 

According to the Christenson Communities website, the two Citadel Mews residences combined have about 175 units, though the site does not say how many are occupied. 

The cause of fire is still unknown. 

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