Three rescued from balconies at Victoria apartment fire

Three people were rescued from their balconies at a Victoria apartment building early Saturday after a fire broke out in a second-floor unit.

Victoria fire crews responded to the blaze on Dowler Place near Bay Street after the first 911 call came in at 4:44 a.m.

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They arrived to find flames and heavy smoke coming from a corner unit on the second floor of the four-storey building, said battalion chief Gord Taylor.

“The person that lived in the unit was on the balcony and had to be assisted, or rescued, to get down,” he said.

A couple in the unit next door was also on their balcony to escape the smoke filling their apartment.

Crews extended ladders to the balconies to rescue all three people. The couple was assessed at the scene but did not require medical attention, while the woman who lives in the unit that caught fire was taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.

Fire crews rescued a cat from inside the unit on fire. Taylor said the pet was taken to a veterinarian.

“As far as we know, it’s okay,” he said.

Crews contained the fire to one unit, which Taylor said is “damaged quite heavily.”

Residents of all six apartments on the floor were given temporary assisted housing or went to stay with friends and family due to smoke and water damage.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, but there is no indication that it is suspicious, Taylor said.

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