Sunday , October 24 2021

Two men fighting for lives, two others injured in a group house fire


A fire broke out on 16608 90th Ave. group house picked up shortly before 1:44 Monday December 24, 1818. Greg Southam / Postmedia

One person is dead and another is attached to life after a fire in a house in western Edmonton early on Christmas Eve.

The fire broke out on avenue 16608 90. House group just before 1:44 am, fire department spokeswoman Suzzette Mellado said Monday.

On Monday morning, authorities said a man in his 40s was transported to hospital in critical and life-threatening conditions. Another man, whose age is not known, was also fighting for his life in the hospital. Two others were in serious condition.

A police spokesman said the unit is investigating.

Neighbors said the home is a group home for adults with mental and physical disabilities.

Ben Zubieto, who lives across the street, was still awake when the fire started.

He heard a woman screaming for help from across the street. He looked out the window, saw flames coming from the roof of the house and called 911.

The woman was "screaming" my clients are still in there, "Zubieto said.

He does not know the people who live at home, but says they are friendly and active. Edmonton DATS buses arrive through the house to take locals to and from activities. They can often be heard playing music together, he said.

"They are good people," he said. "They greet me and say 'hi'."

Charlie Dalton, who lives in two houses to the east, woke up with flashing lights outside and saw five or six lifeguards doing what appeared to be chest compressions in one of the victims at the foot of his garage.

At the height of the blaze, five fire stations were on the scene, Mellado said.

Firefighters rescued three people from the house, she said. Ambulance teams carried four people to the hospital at about 1:50 pm. The fire was under control at 3:34 a.m.

Fire investigators remained on the scene on Monday morning. At this stage, police said the fire is not considered suspicious.

In addition to the two men in life-threatening condition, another man in his 30s and a woman in his 30s are listed in serious condition.

The house is in the West Meadowlark neighborhood of Edmonton.

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