ST. THOMAS, ONT. -- Four apartments were destroyed this morning when a multi-unit complex caught fire in the west end of St. Thomas.

At approximately 8:15 a.m., fire crews were called to 68 Hincks St.

"We got a call of fully involved fire," says Bill Todd, chief fire prevention officer for St. Thomas Fire Department.

"We have four apartments in there. In two of them the people were out."

Frank Gatto lives downstairs in apartment number one.

"There is a hallway in the back and I noticed orange flames in the glass," says Gatto.

"I opened the screen door and I saw red flames. There was a couch and loveseat that had caught on fire, and the staircase was on fire at that time."

Gatto says he acted quickly.

"I thought ‘oh my god, get everybody out’. I yelled up at my neighbours, but I couldn’t go up the stairs because they were on fire. I got my wife out, and got my neighbour and his cat out of apartment #2. The people in number three and four weren't home."


A crowd gathered along Wellington Street at police closed off the road. Neighbours and onlookers took pictures and videos, while Kate Corless, who lives in apartment number three upstairs returned home.

"I saw fire fighters going through my home with an axe," says Corless who tells CTV News she recently moved into the place.

"I am just glad I wasn't here, and we are lucky because we live upstairs.

Corless is thankful her dog was at a ranch overnight because it may not have been able to get out.

"I'm very upset," says Corless.

"Everything I had was in there but it's replaceable. I'm safe, my dog is safe and so is everyone from the house."

Firefighters poured water through the roof using the ladder truck, and were able to knock it down within an hour.

There is no cause yet, and no one was injured.