2 homes gutted by fire in southwest Edmonton

Randy Painchaud is feeling blessed after his family escaped an early morning house fire in southwest Edmonton unscathed.

He says his wife, two children and a friend made it out with minutes to spare. 

“I think if we were [to wake up] another four minutes later, there was a good possibility I could have lost one of my kids and we probably wouldn’t have made it out of the house,” Painchaud said Wednesday in front of the charred remains of his home. 

“I’m just really happy we were able to get everybody out.”

The glass was breaking at that point in the window and it was just starting to crawl inside the house.– Randy Painchaud

The fire engulfed two homes and damaged three more in Melrose Crescent in the neighbourhood of MacEwan early Wednesday morning said Maya Filipovic, a spokesperson for Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

The family, along with the man who lived next door, managed to get out onto the street before fire crews arrived on scene around 2:30 a.m. 

​”The upstairs is pretty much gone. The roof is gone. The neighbour’s house, I know his floor caved in,” Painchaud said.

“The front door is gone. The back door is melted into a pile of plastic on the floor.”

Both homes sustained significant damage in the fire. One will be demolished Wednesday morning. (CBC)

‘We were panicking’

Painchaud said he was sleeping upstairs when he awoke around 2:30 a.m. to the wail of the smoke detector, and the sound of shattering glass.

His wife Shelby went out into the hallway to investigate and check on their young son and daughter.

“She ran over to my daughter’s room because she heard the noise coming from there,” Painchaud said. “She opened her door and screamed immediately because the window was just up in flames.

“The glass was breaking at that point in the window and it was just starting to crawl inside the house.”

Painchaud said he tried to extinguish the flames with a wet towel but quickly realized the fire was too powerful.

With the help of their friend who had been sleeping in the basement, they wrapped up the children in blankets and ran outside — just as the fire began to spread to the neighbouring home.

They called 911 and started frantically banging on the door.

“We couldn’t’ get ahold of him so we were panicking,” Painchaud said.

The neighbour woke up to the fire coming through his bedroom window and managed to escape just as fire crews arrived on scene, Painchaud said.

Nearby homes seriously damaged

Painchaud said his family moved into the home in September. They lost a bundle of cash they had been saving up for a family vacation, his wife’s wedding ring and some treasured family photos.

He doubts the house can be saved.

Firefighters suspect the fire started in his garden shed, Painchaud said. He was told the lithium battery from the weed-wacker he used last night may have sparked the flames.

The fire was brought under control shortly before 4 a.m., Filipovic said.

Heavy equipment will be brought in late Wednesday morning to demolish the most heavily damaged property. 

Three neighbouring properties also sustained heat damage in the fire, Filipovic said.

Fire investigators remained on scene Wednesday morning. 

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Originally posted 2018-05-30 09:55:14. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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