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Fire Breaks Out in Niverville Condo Building

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Condo Fire Crop
This condo building on First Street North in Niverville caught fire early Thursday morning. Dustin Krahn

Early in the morning of Thursday, April 8, a fire broke out at a 12-unit condo building at 139 First Street South in Niverville. The Niverville Fire Department responded and can confirm that all residents of the structure were able to get out of the building without incident.

The call initially came in at 2:17 a.m., and crews quickly arrived on the scene at 2:25 a.m.

“The building fire alarm was activated and everyone was able to self-evacuate prior to our arrival,” says Niverville Fire Chief Keith Bueckert. “It worked out very well. Very quickly we confirmed with our search and fire attack that we had no residents still in the building.”

Bueckert says that the initial call came in as a grass fire, and that it wasn’t until the first crews arrived that they realized they were dealing with a structure fire.

That’s when the decision was made to call in help from the local municipalities. Upon activating Mutual Aid, additional crews arrived from the RM of Ritchot and the Landmark station in the RM of Tache.

“The fire started on the outside of the building and got up into the attic space,” Bueckert explains. “So we had to get in there and pull down a lot of ceilings so we could get at the fire. Our guys did an unbelievable job, including our Mutual Aid partners. They worked seamlessly together.”

Because the building is located in the older part of town, which doesn’t have fire hydrants, Bueckert says they were fortunate to be able to access a hydrant on Main Street.

“That was a game-changer,” he says. “We’re in an area of town there where we don’t have water sources all over. Having the ability to use the fire hydrant significantly contributed to our ability to get this fire under control in a timely manner.”

He adds that the fire was very hot, since it was trapped up in the attic with a tin roof.

“Our people were in there busting their butts so we could cycle crews through,” says Bueckert. “We didn’t get our members fatigued, so we could keep a good cycle of getting people in and out and keep the fire attack rolling. It worked extremely well.”

The fire was extinguished sometime between 4:30 and 5:00 a.m. Bueckert says that fire crews are still on the scene through the morning and early afternoon, mopping up hotspots and engaging in clean-up. They’ve also tried their best to tarp the lower suites to prevent water damage from above.

“I just want to say that I’m just thankful for our neighbouring departments and to all of their members who were able to attend quickly and we did a really bang-up job,” he says. “I’m really proud of them.”

Now that the fire has been extinguished, an investigator has been dispatched from Brandon by the Office of the Fire Commissioner. While the investigation is ongoing, no information will be divulged about the cause of the blaze.

The Town of Niverville has issued a request for the public to avoid the vicinity while clean-up crews and personnel go about their work.

“On behalf of myself and council, we are very thankful that no one in the building was hurt!” says Mayor Myron Dyck. “We are also thankful for our fire chief and our entire emergency volunteer fire and response team for their quick action and professionalism displayed in getting the fire under control in a timely manner, and also that none of them were injured. For those of our Niverville family who have been displaced by this fire, we are thinking of you at this time and are here to help you.”

A dedicated phone line has been set up for those people who have been displaced by the fire to call for assistance. That number is 431-275-8984.

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