Fire breaks out at East Hall Residence

A candle left burning in an apartment at the East Hall Residence at SAIT Polytechnic may have been the cause of a small fire that broke out during the supper hour on Nov. 13.

A Community Assistant (CA) at the residence confirmed a small fire broke out on the seventh floor where one of the desks in a resident’s room had caught fire.

The blaze was quickly extinguished but six fire trucks were on scene to investigate and insure that residents, who were evacuated, could safely re-enter the building.

While no physical damage was done to the property residence staff have closed off the room to clean it make sure it is safe.

Director of Commercial Services at SAIT Polytechnic, Wayne Gee, confirmed on Friday, Nov. 15 that they are still unsure exactly what caused the fire, but that a candle or some other small flame may have been to blame.

Gee said damage from the fire was minimal and was mainly due to smoke.

Students were taken by surprise when the fire alarm went off at 5 p.m. in the residence building, which is located on the east side of the institution’s main campus (and shown as SAIT Residence II on Google Maps).

[googlemap address=”151 Doctor Carpenter Circle NW, Calgary, AB” fullwidth=”true” height=”500″ zoom=”19″]

“I was studying when it happened,” said resident Jodie Evelyn.

“The alarm scared me. I didn’t think it was anything serious until the intercom said the CAs have confirmed this is an emergency,” said Evelyn, who had already experienced a previous evacuation that proved to be a false alarm.

East Hall residents were evacuated from their apartments but given little information on the problem.

They were sent to the Begin Tower residence building or the Senator Burns building to wait out the emergency.

“My pants were on backwards,” said fourth-floor resident Shauna Hiebert.

“I had a feeling it was real. The alarm was different and more than one was going off,” added Heibert, who took shelter in the Begin Tower with other East Hall patrons.

Emergency crews rushed to the scene after a 911 call was made reporting smoke on the seventh floor.

“I saw everyone outside and the fire trucks. No one really knew what was going on,” said East Hall resident, Tori Burns, who was in class when the alarm went off and came home to find the surprising scene.

I had a feeling it was real. The alarm was different and more than one was going off. – Shauna Heibert

After an hour of waiting, residents were allowed to return to their apartments.

No injuries were reported.

About Faith Flores 7 Articles
As a writing and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Faith Flores worked as a reporter for The Press during the 2013-2014 academic year.