Two dead in Christmas morning apartment building fire: police

A building fire in downtown Winnipeg sends six people to hospital and leaves more than 40 people out of their homes. @swiddarassy reports.

By News Staff

Winnipeg police say two people have died following the apartment fire on Qu’Appelle Avenue early Christmas morning.

Six people were sent to hospital, including three in critical condition.

Police could not confirm whether the two people who died were among those taken to hospital.

The Winnipeg Police Service says the deceased’s next of kin were being notified.

Burn marks on Winnipeg building on Qu’Appelle Avenue following fire. (Credit: CityNews/Swidda Rassy)

The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service says it was called to the six-storey building shortly after 4 a.m. on Christmas morning. Crews were met with heavy smoke and flames.

The city’s emergency services helped more than 40 residents find temporary accommodations. Many were placed in a nearby hotel.

“We stayed in the bus up to the morning, then they took us to Freight House to have breakfast and to warm up and at last, with their kindness, they put us in Holiday Inn hotel,” said resident Sunny Gmariam, who says he only had a few minutes to gather his belongings before being rushed out of his suite.

Police say they arrested a suspect shortly after the fire. They were later released with no charges laid.

Resident Fatima Atta told CityNews the blaze was “very scary.”

—With files from Swidda Rassy and The Canadian Press.

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