Fire forced the evacuation of 47 residents from a long-term care facility in Wellington, P.E.I., late Monday night.
As of midday Tuesday, the residents of La Coopérative Le Chez-Nous were at the Mill River Resort in western Prince County, being cared for by Chez-Nous staff. Representatives of the Canadian Red Cross were also there to help with logistics.
Firefighters were called to the long-term care home at around 9:40 p.m. Monday after heavy smoke was reported in the building.
Desmond Arsenault, a spokesperson for the fire department, said neighbours and community members were coming to the facility to help firefighters get the residents out safely.
“We are very pleased to announce that all the residents and staff were safely evacuated despite an incredible amount of smoke while we were doing so,” Arsenault told the CBC’s Julien Lecacheur late Monday night.
“They all managed to make it here, at the legion in Wellington, and now the plan is to transport all these residents to a hotel.”
No serious injuries
The elderly residents had been escorted into police cars and ambulances until school buses arrived to take them to the nearby Royal Canadian Legion.
Arsenault said there were no serious injuries, but a few residents did sustain minor scrapes and bruises.
“All the families have been contacted so they are all here checking with their loved ones,” said Arsenault. “They are quite relieved to see that they are OK.”
Firefighters from Tyne Valley, Miscouche and New London were on the scene to assist the Wellington Fire Department.
“The province is thankful that for the fire services that worked together and community members that assisted with the evacuation of the Chez Nous residents,” a spokesman said in an email to CBC News Tuesday.
“While the Emergency Measures Organization was ready to assist if called upon, they were not involved in this incident in an official capacity. One of the public safety officers was on site as a volunteer firefighter to assist as part of one of the local fire services.”
A news release from Prince District RCMP on Tuesday morning said provincial Emergency Measures Organization staff are now involved in “arranging accommodations.”
Arsenault said it will be “some time” before residents will be allowed back into Chez-Nous. The building sustained heavy smoke damage.
Firefighters were on the scene throughout the night searching for hot spots.
“There was some fire in the walls,” Arsenault said.
The fire remains under investigation and officials from the P.E.I. Fire Marshal’s Office will be back on the scene Wednesday.
“No further information will be available until the investigation is completed,” the provincial spokesman said.