WATCH: A Sunday fire displaced 93 residents from an apartment building in Duncan. The cause is still under investigation but there were some terrifying moments as people were evacuating the building and a baby was unaccounted for. Kendall Hanson reports.
Residents and firefighters returned to Parkland Place Apartments Duncan Monday to assess the damage from a fire one day earlier.
Fire tore through the building on Sunday, leaving people seconds to escape.
“The fire alarm went off and within a couple of moments, I got up and opened the door on the first floor to see the person on the other side open her door, black smoke billowing out and she was hysterical saying ‘my baby my baby,'” said fire victim Angela Day.
The fast-moving smoke and flames left residents terrified that not everyone in the building had escaped. Day tried to find a baby inside her neighbours unit but the intense heat forced her back.
“Terrifying,” said Day. “I thought there was a baby in there and I couldn’t.”
However, Day said the firefighters were amazing during all of the panic.
“You’re so brave to do the job you do. where you go in when we can’t,” Day said.
Firefighters entered the suite only to find the infant wasn’t there.
“Whenever you hear somebody’s trapped, much less a child, you know the anxiety level goes through the roof,” said Wray Watson, assistant chief of the Duncan Volunteer Fire Department.
“But our crews made an initial search, found nothing in the bedroom and so we were quite confident the child wasn’t in that suite.”
Crews and the mother soon learned a family member had earlier taken the baby out of the suite.
Thirteen people were sent to hospital after the fire. Residents believe most of them have now been released.]
The building did not have a sprinkler system, which firefighters say allowed to the flames to spread quickly.
Four suites were destroyed by the fire, while neighbouring units have significant smoke and water damage. Forty of the apartment building’s residents are now staying at an emergency shelter, while they wait to see if they have a home to return to.
“We’ve got electricians and utilities are being restored to the unaffected portion beyond the firewall so we’re hoping those residents can return tomorrow or the next day depending on when they get water, power restored to the building,” said Watson.
Those who lost their homes are wondering if they will be able to find an affordable place to live.