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The Yellowknife Fire Division attended a fire at the Birchwood Apartments at 488 Range Lake Road, Sunday morning.

Black smoke could be seen billowing out of a first-floor unit of Birchwood Apartments at 488 Range Lake Road. A neighbour who made the call to responders said that the room was unoccupied at the time of the fire.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

Shortly after 11 a.m., two fire engines, two ambulances as well as some supporting vehicles were on scene at the apartment building as black smoke was billowing out of windows on both sides of the building.

The six-unit apartment building, which is owned by YKD Properties, is located across the street from St. Joseph School and near Copperhouse Eatery and Lounge.

A man and his wife on scene who occupy a neighbouring unit, and who asked not to be identified, said the incident occurred in unit 1 of the building on the lower level.

He made the call to the RCMP and the fire division at about 11 a.m. and said first responders were on scene in less than 10 minutes.

Fire fighters pull a ladder from a back of a truck for use in putting out Sunday’s fire.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

The neighbour said he believes a man lives in the unit, but at the time of the fire, the home was unoccupied.

“As soon as I heard the fire alarm, we took three fire extinguishers right away,” he said, adding that he and another neighbour worked to get children in the building to safety.

“We have the fire things ready and as soon as we got everyone out we kicked the  (unit 1) door. We tried to check if somebody was inside. ”

Fire fighters extend a ladder to a unit where smoke was billowing at the rear of Birchwood Apartments.
Simon Whitehouse/NNSL photo

The cause of the fire was still under investigation and the extent of the damage was uncertain as of Sunday noon, however everyone inside was safe, according to the neighbour.

He said he was waiting for the Fire Marshal to arrive to be allowed back into the building shortly after noon.

The City of Yellowknife issued a statement on its website Sunday afternoon stating that the fire was responded to and contained quickly and no one was injured.

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Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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