Frustrated tenants forced to deal with Alice Street fire

CORNWALL, Ontario – Smoke billowed from an apartment complex fire Monday afternoon on Alice Street in Cornwall.

Witnesses said it did not appear as though anyone was injured in the fire, though tenants in the apartment were clearly frustrated with what they felt was a lack of information flowing from firefighters and police at the scene.

One man, who did not provide his name but said he lived in one of the apartments, said fire and police “were very rude” with him when he was seeking answers from them.

It should be noted that firefighters were still working at the time to clear the building of thick, acrid smoke – the smell of which permeated the neighbourhood.

“I build roofs and I was working on one at the corner of Louisa and First and someone yelled to me that my place was on fire,” continued the man. “I have three cats and some fish. I don’t know what is going on with them.

“A lot of us in this building have animals.”

The man was cut short by firefighters who advised him and another man to move away from the building. The men were standing at the front door to one of the apartments.

“If you guys would move across the street it would make our jobs a lot easier,” one of the firefighters told the men.

Many neighbours could be found on the street, or their front porches (wrapped in blankets) to take in the spectacle that occurred in the 200-block of Alice Street.

“At first we heard the fire trucks, and when we came out there was smoke coming from the eavestrough on the top,” said neighbour Justin Rainey, who added it appeared as though the fire actually started on a lower level.

It’s unclear what caused the fire, or how many people lived in the apartment building.

While the flames were extinguished, firefighters were still working at sundown to clear the building of smoke, with large fans set up at the front doorway.

More to come.

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