HAMILTON – Firefighters were called out early this morning to battle a massive wind-whipped blaze in a townhouse complex (pictured, above) in Hamilton, Ont.
The Hamilton Fire Department says the multi-alarm inferno erupted in the city’s east side on Edenrock Drive and engulfed 11 townhouse units leaving them in ruins.
Video footage from the scene showed towering flames and thick smoke billowing into the night sky.
Chief Dave Cunliffe told a news conference that all of the units were occupied but there had been no reports of any injuries, either among the residents or firefighters.
He said the end unit of a block of three townhomes was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived around 3:00 a.m. and that strong winds fanned the flames causing the fire to quickly spread to a second block containing eight units.
Cunliffe added that the destruction could have been even worse.
“Crews made a valiant effort and were able to stop this fire before it got to the third block of eight units to the north. That was done through the use of high volume water streams and aerial operations,” he said.
By the time the sun came up, it appeared most of the flames had been extinguished, though Cunliffe said crews would likely remain on scene most of the day dousing any potential hotspots.
He noted that the Ontario Fire Marshall had been called in to help determine the cause of the blaze.
It’s not yet clear how many people were displaced by the fire, but Cunliffe said the Red Cross was helping those who needed shelter and other essential aid.
Damage from the blaze is expected to run into the millions of dollars.