‘Very scary’: Students jump out rear window to escape morning fire

1004 Oxford St E Store Fire

Firefighters battle a morning blaze in a variety store that’s also home to apartments. Two people, including a firefighter, were taken to hospital. Photo taken Thursday April 18, 2019. (Jonathan Juha/The London Free Press)

Two people, including a firefighter, have been taken to hospital with minor injuries following an early Thursday fire in the city’s east end.

London firefighters responded to a structure fire at 1004 Oxford St. shortly after 6:30 a.m. The building houses a variety store and three apartment units that are home to about 10 people, authorities say.

Malaykumar Bhavsar, a Fanshawe College student from India who lives in one of the apartments, said he was alerted of the fire by a roommate. He said all five occupants in his unit, all of whom are from India left the apartment by jumping through a back window.

“It was very scary. We could barely see because of the smoke,” said the first-year mechanical engineering student.

He says one of his friends was taken to hospital after injuring himself while escaping the structure.

Vilson Kunjipalu, the owner of the building, said he was devastated.

“A friend called me about the fire and I called 911 but I was told (firefighters) were already there,” he said.

The fire, which seems to have originated on the upper level of the building, also caused some damages to the building next door, said Jack Burt, London’s acting deputy fire chief.

Though a dollar figure on the extent of the damage is yet to be determined, Burt said the structure suffered significant fire, smoke and water damage.

Police closed the section of Oxford Street East between Quebec and Stuart streets to allow firefighters to fight the blaze.

Oxford Street was re-opened shortly before 10 a.m. The cause of the fire is now under investigation.

Jack Burt, acting deputy Fire Chief, provides an update on an early Thursday fire at a building at 1004 Oxford St. E.

Posted by The London Free Press on Thursday, April 18, 2019

Source: ‘Very scary’: Students jump out rear window to escape morning fire | The London Free Press