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As 'bright as the sun': Students describe house fire near Fanshawe College

Five students have been displaced following a house fire on Prosperity Court in London on April 15, 2024. (Source: Victoria Ashley) Five students have been displaced following a house fire on Prosperity Court in London on April 15, 2024. (Source: Victoria Ashley)
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As many as six students are displaced after a fire heavily damaged a home near Fanshawe College.

The blaze broke out in a back split at the end of the Prosperity Court.

Gillian Gilmore and Victoria Ashley live nearby and were alerted by approaching fire trucks.

“I could hear the sirens, and I thought that’s really close,” explained Gilmore. “So I looked out front and said, ‘Oh my gosh!’ I ran out front and saw the big flames in the air. It seems like it was the sun! That’s how bright the flames were!”

“It just felt like a heavy blanket almost coming over the street,” shared Ashley.

More than 25 firefighters and a half dozen engines arrived moments later.

Several tenants were outside to meet them. All were unharmed, according to Platoon Chief Kirk Loveland.

London fire crews responded to a call on Prosperity Court around 10 p.m. on April 15, 2024. (Source: London fire)Still, he told CTV News London, firefighters entered the home to ensure no one else was inside.

“Fortunately, they had working smoke alarms and they all escaped.”

Loveland said the residence is heavily damaged and estimated the loss between $400,000 to $500,000.

The blaze started on the east side of the home.

“We determined that the fire started on the exterior. It had combustible siding on the side, which accelerated the fire spread,” said Loveland.

The initial speed of the flames and smoke was a growing concern for nearby residents, including Fanshawe student Kolapo Bankole.

“There was just a lot of commotion, and we were concerned it was going to head towards the next building, but thankfully that didn’t happen.”

The fire is not considered suspicious.

The displaced students are receiving support from the Red Cross and other agencies.

London fire crews responded to a call on Prosperity Court in London on April 15, 2024. (Source: London fire)

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