Young family with baby on the way escapes North End fire

By | April 7, 2020

A family expecting a new baby in just a few days escaped from a fire in multi-family home in Winnipeg’s North End on Monday afternoon.

Firefighters responded to the fire in a two-storey building on Redwood Avenue near Andrews Street at 3:40 p.m., says a news release from the City of Winnipeg. 

Eric Michelle, his pregnant girlfriend and their toddler were in their upstairs suite when the alarm went off. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

When they arrived, the encountered heavy smoke coming from the house.

Crews brought the fire under control just before 4 p.m. No injuries were reported. 

Eric Michelle said he was home with his 16-month-old son and girlfriend when the fire started. He heard the fire alarm go off but couldn’t find the cause in his own unit. 

When he went downstairs to check the units below him, he could smell “a bunch of smoke” and hear banging from inside one of the units. 

“When I opened it up, he was like, ‘Fire!'”

“And when I looked, I could see there was a whole bunch of fire coming out of their living room window.”

The fire caused extensive damage. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

At that point he ran upstairs to get his son and girlfriend and get them out of the building. He only had time to put his son in a snowsuit and grab a few sentimental items. 

Michelle’s girlfriend is nine months pregnant with their second child and is due in four days. 

The family is “still a little shaken up” but happy to have the support friends and family, he said. His stepmother has started a Go Fund Me campaign to raise some money to replace their damaged items. 

The cause of the fire is still under investigation and no damage estimates are available yet.

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