Fire Devours Downtown Brandon, Manitoba
A massive fire broke out in downtown Brandon, Manitoba, and spread across to the nearby buildings on Saturday, May 19.
One of the buildings affected, Massey Manor, is an affordable housing complex managed by the Brandon Friendship Centre and Habitat for Humanity. According to CTV, the organization provides services to the Indigenous community, and some of the residents in Massey Manor housed single mothers and their children.
Luckily, everyone had evacuated the building when the fire alarm went off and no one was hurt. The residents stood outside of the building and watched as the roof collapsed.
There was a total of 93 adults and 57 children who were displaced from their homes, including a Syrian family, and a father and his two children. Justin Verinder, the father of two, smelt the smoke and evacuated with his children right away.
Verinder says in his interview with CBC that they were given vouchers and money in order to replace the things they had lost.
All of the residents of the Massey Manor have registered with the Red Cross and are now living in hotels until they’re able to find another place to live.
According to CTV, there is no telling when Massey Manor is going to be fixed or when the displaced residents are allowed to collect their belongings. There is also no telling what will happen to these displaced families and what their next steps will be.
The provincial government and Salvation Army will be working together with municipal authorities as well.
Watching with deep concern as a massive fire devours downtown Brandon landmarks. Thanks to Brandon fire fighters and police personnel for keeping Brandonites safe. #mbpoli #bdnmb pic.twitter.com/zb2IITyciL
— Brian Pallister (@Brian_Pallister) May 19, 2018
The community has been giving donations after hearing about the incident and clothing and other supplies have been provided for the evacuees. Nearly $9,000 had been raised by the GoFundMe campaign by Monday evening.
Many of the buildings a block and a half away were burnt, as they were still on fire as the firefighters worked well into Sunday to put them out. Firefighters from outside the city also came as reinforcement to help put out the fire.
The cause of the fire is still unknown.