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Fire contained to one unit in blaze at Picton Heights row housing

PEC firefighters on the scene at 13 Reichswald Court Wednesday night. – Mike Johnson photo

Prince Edward County firefighters contained a fire at a six-unit row housing on Reichswald Court at Prince Edward Heights to one unit as they battled flame and smoke throughout the evening Wednesday. Crews contained the fire to unit 13, with smoke and water damage to unit 14.

“Fire crews faced significant fire and smoke coming from the front of the residence on arrival,” said PEC Fire Chief Chad Brown.

Residents, and their animals, were safely out of the building.

“Two residents were transported to hospital for observation and released later in the evening.”

Crews were on the scene until after midnight. – PEC Fire photo

Fire crews from Station 1 (Picton) and 2 (Bloomfield) extinguished the fire and completed overhaul operations until after midnight. The investigation into the cause continues, but Chief Brown states it is not suspicious in nature.

The Salvation Army arranged accommodations for those displaced by the fire. Brown notes thanks to Picton Salvation Army members Donna and Joe Ludlow, Laura Holmes for arranging food and emergency shelter accommodations for the affected residents, the Picton Harbour Inn for housing affected residents and Picton Subway staff for preparing food for residents and fire department personnel.

In the early morning hours Thursday, Chantelle Bissaillion, one of the six-plex residents affected, wrote a Facebook post to a few community groups to thank people for their kindnesses – everyone from the first responders to the person who gave her the shoes off her own feet, and blankets for her baby.

“I just wanted to take a second to say thank you to all the kind souls on the heights. Thank you to the first responders, thank you to my neighbours that pulled my kids out and wrapped them up and got them somewhere safe. Thank you to the person that gave me the shoes off her own feet, gave me clothes to wear and blankets for my baby. All the people that let us sit in their vehicles to keep warm. A neighbour taking in our dogs until we could get into a hotel.

“Also thank you to Salvation Army for giving us diapers and food and toys to get through the night. This was the most stressful and scariest situation. So thankful that everyone is okay and made it out.”

Community members responding to her post were offering assistance ranging from a hot shower, to food, household items and items for the children.

Smoke poured out of the building. – Mike Johnson photo


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  1. KB says:

    Thank you to the first responders – this was very heroic. I note that the photos show not all first responder firefighters are wearing full gear to filter the dangerous toxins and smoke, and prevent inhalation of such cancer causing chemicals. I do hope the county is working to address this and will provide the necessary equipment to the firefighters. It’s a safety and prevention issue – whether full-time or volunteer. Everyone deserves to be safe.

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