Eight flee crackling flames
Smoke inhalation sends two women to hospital

by Jennifer Pritchett
Northern News Services

NNSL (NOV 27/96) - Two Yellowknife women spent Sunday night in hospital after a fire destroyed their downtown apartment.

Both were released Monday morning after being treated for smoke inhalation. Six others living in the three-apartment house on 46th Street escaped without injury.

Lori Sheppard, who lives in the basement apartment next door, said her neighbour came to tell her there was a fire just after nine.

"It really scared her I think," she said. "She said she heard something crackling."

Sheppard said they are lucky to be alive.

"It really was scary," she said. "The fire was just on the other side of the wall from us."

"We didn't know there was a fire until she came to tell us," Sheppard added. "When we came out of the house, all we could see was smoke pouring out the door and the windows."

Minutes later, 18 firefighters, two pumpers, two ambulances and a support vehicle were on the scene battling the first house fire of the season.

Before escaping from the burning building, Sheppard and her boyfriend, Jeff Peddle, saved their cat and two ferets. They tucked the animals in their coats to keep them warm while firefighters doused the flames.

Connie Gizycki, who lives in an apartment upstairs, said she didn't know there was a fire until firefighters arrived.

Gizychi said she will have to stay with friends until they can move back into the apartment, which was extensively damaged by smoke.

Damage was initially estimated at $75,000 for the house and $15,000 for the contents.

Yellowknife Fire Department officials say the blaze was accidental and is being investigated by the fire marshall.