Burning mattress in hallway caused apartment residents to jump out windows, chief says

Port Hardy RCMP say a Sunday night apartment fire that sent people jumping out of windows is suspicious.

Some of those who leapt to safety were injured, said Port Hardy Fire Chief Brent Borg. Three of them were sent to hospital.

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Borg said the fire was burning in a mattress in a hallway, which prevented people from using the stairs.

“We’re still under investigation, but mattresses don’t typically spontaneously combust in a hallway.”

Emergency Support Services has placed most residents — 24 people — into hotels until it’s determined what’s going to happen with the building.

Borg said residents “opened up their doors and saw a wall of flame and smoke, so they chose the other way out.”

“It scared some people, for sure.”

He said there are escape ladders on the market that can be stowed in residences.

He stressed the importance of closing all doors in a home to help prevent fire damage.

“Even if you’re escaping a fire, close the door behind you.”

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