Charlottetown apartment fire caused by electrical fault

The apartment building was left in ruins, and many residents lost most of their belongings. (Jackie Sharkey/CBC - image credit)

A fire early Tuesday morning at an apartment building in the northeast of Charlottetown was caused by an electrical fault inside a wall, says deputy fire chief Kent Mitchell.

There were no serious injuries in the fire at 6 Elena Court, but the 20-unit apartment building was destroyed and about 40 residents who lived there were left scrambling to find a place to live.

The fire spread through the building rapidly, and most residents escaped with little more than what they were wearing when the alarm went off at about 12:40 a.m. The Red Cross assisted people with cash for clothing and temporary accommodation.

The fire is considered accidental, said Mitchell, and the scene has been turned over to insurance adjusters for their investigation.

"This fire was very serious. It was … one of the worst fires I've seen as a firefighter and investigator and now as a deputy fire chief here in the city," he said.

"It got up into the attic space. Once it gets up into the attic space, it's very challenging for firefighters to fight this type of fire [because] it's hard to access different points within the attic, that type of thing."

At least one resident and one firefighter sustained non-serious injuries and were taken to hospital.

Mitchell said the firefighter is recovering. He did not comment on the condition of any other injuries.