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Hundreds of downtown Edmonton building residents return home after early-morning fire


Fire forced hundreds of residents of a downtown Edmonton highrise to leave their homes early Friday morning.

Firefighters were called to a building at 10020 103 Ave. at 4:20 a.m. and arrived minutes later.

A couple on the 19th floor had to carry their eight-year-old son in a wheelchair down the stairs after they were woken up by the alarm.

"We smelled it and we were having breathing problems," Shanta Islam told CTV News Edmonton outside. "We couldn't see anything in the hallway, everything is smoky and blurry and we decided it's time to go down."

City hall opened for evacuees while crews battled the fire, a City of Edmonton official told CTV News Edmonton.

The fire was out just before 6 a.m., the city said, and residents were allowed to return at around 6:30 a.m.

It's unclear where the fire started. No injuries have been reported, but some people were assessed for smoke inhalation.

A number of residents told CTV News Edmonton the building's fire alarms go off constantly.

"I've lived here for two years and this goes on all the time," James McCombie said.

McCombie has security concerns and has called management and police several times.

"People are scared to go to their mailbox at any time of the day," he said.

"[The security guard] is here till 8 p.m. sometimes, after that, it's a free for all."

With files from CTV News Edmonton's Nicole Lampa and Evan Klippenstein Top Stories

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