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Fire damages Belliveau Avenue apartment building

No one was physically injured when fire heavily damaged a Belliveau Avenue apartment building in Amherst on Wednesday, June 3, 2020.

Amherst firefighters were called to the scene at about 1:30 p.m.

As they arrived, they could see a greyish-white smoke billowing from the eaves of the two-storey building that contained three apartments. Flames were also licking the side of the building near the entrance to an upper story apartment.Belliveau fire 6 B

Crews battled the blaze from inside and outside of the building.

Firefighters, standing on the first-storey roof used axes and saws to gain access to the fire that appeared to be in the second-storey roof. They poured water and foam into the eaves. Crews on the inside of the building had to gain access to the attic to get at the flames.

As they were doing this, firefighters could be seen taking sheets of plastic inside the lower apartments to protect furniture and other objects.

Fire Chief Greg Jones said the occupants of two of the apartments were home when the blaze broke out. Occupants of a third apartment were not home when the fire started, but returned to the property shortly after the fire began.

“Everyone who was in the building managed to get out safely. None of them or any of the firefighters were injured.” Jones said. “The owner was notified and also arrived on the scene.”

It took firefighters about 30 minutes to knock down the fire, but as they were completing overhaul, a wisp of smoke could be seen coming from the second-storey roof on the opposite side of the building where the fire was seen.Belliveau 3 B

Firefighters quickly ascended to the second-storey roof, where one of them used an axe to cut a whole into the roof. As he did so, smoke, then flames could be scene licking near his feet. Firefighters inside the attic poured water on the fire, then handed the firefighter on the roof the hose. He then doused the flames ensuring the fire was completely out.

Firefighters remained on the scene until about 4 p.m.

Jones said the cause of the fire is under investigation, but at this point the fire is not considered suspicious.