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1 dead, 3 injured after fire destroys Edmonton group home




One person is dead and three others in hospital after an an early-morning fire at a group home for people with disabilities in west Edmonton on Monday.

Around 11:30 a.m. Monday, Edmonton police confirmed the death of one of the fire victims.

Earlier, an Alberta Health Services spokesperson had said four patients taken to hospital had included a man in his 40s in critical, life-threatening condition, a man of an unknown age in critical, life-threatening condition, a man in his 30s in serious condition and a woman in her 30s in serious condition.

Neighbours said the home, at 166th Street and 90th Avenue in the West Meadowlark neighbourhood, housed three people with mental and physical disabilities.

Staff would rotate through the home, said neighbour Ben Zubieto, who lives directly across the street.

Zubieto said he was still awake early Monday when he heard a woman scream outside.

Another neighbour, Zally Ocier, shot video showing the house engulfed in flames as a fire truck arrives on scene.

Warning: This video may be disturbing to some viewers.

One person is dead and three others are in hospital after an early-morning fire at a group home. 0:22

“I saw this lady standing by the sidewalk and she was screaming for help. And the next thing I saw was the fire,” Zubieto said.

Zubieto saw flames coming out of the upstairs window of the split-level house. He called 911 and spoke to the woman who had screamed for help. She worked in the home.

“She was in shock and she was shaking, and she was worried about her clients being inside, the three of them,” he said. “There’s nothing we could do because the flames were coming out of the windows.

“I just hope they’re OK.”

One person is dead and three others injured after a house fire early Monday in west Edmonton. (Nathan Gross/CBC)

Fire crews were called around 1:45 a.m. and arrived on scene in six minutes, said Edmonton Fire Rescue Services spokesperson Suzzette Melado.

“When firefighters got to the address they were able to rescue three people who were inside the home. One was in critical condition,” Mellado said. “They were all transported to hospital by EMS.”

A fourth person was assessed on scene and also taken to hospital.

Fire crews had the fire under control by 3:30 a.m. 

A total of five Edmonton firefighter units and 21 firefighters responded to the blaze. 

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim, especially given this time of the year,” said fire Chief Ken Block.

By late Monday morning, the house appeared severely damaged and investigators remained at the scene.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation. 


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List of Tourist Attractions Open Now in Ottawa




With Ontario now in Step 3 of 2021 three-step plan for reopening, museums and other indoor attractions are allowed to reopen with capacity limited to not exceed 50 per cent capacity indoors and 75 per cent capacity outdoors.

Here is a list of Ottawa attractions you can visit starting July 16th.

Do remember to wear masks and buy tickets in advance.

Parliament Hill

Parliament’s Centre Block and Peace Tower are closed for renovation.

You can join for tours of the Senate of Canada Building (2 Rideau Street), House of Commons at West Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill, and East Block at East Block (111 Wellington Street) on Parliament Hill.

When: Grounds open; guided tours of Parliament are suspended through the summer of 2021.
Where: 111 Wellington Street, Downtown Ottawa

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Ottawa performer leapfrogs from gymnastics to Broadway to TV




A new AppleTV+ series set in a magical town that’s stuck in a neverending 1940s musical includes a pair of Ottawa siblings in the cast. 

Warren Yang and his sister, Ericka Hunter, play two of the singing, dancing residents of the village portrayed in Schmigadoon!, a small-screen series that takes its cues from classic musicals like Brigadoon, Wizard of Oz and Sound of Music, and skewers them with the offbeat comedic mastery of Saturday Night Live. 

In fact, you’ll recognize many of the names from SNL, starting with executive producer Lorne Michaels, creator of the late-night, live-comedy sketch show. Schmigadoon! also stars SNL cast member Cecily Strong and comedian Keegan-Michael Key, who hosted SNL in May. They play a New York couple who get lost on a hike and stumble into a strange town where everyone sings and dances. 

For Yang, a relative newcomer to show-biz, the series marks his television debut. For Hunter, the younger of his two older sisters, it’s the latest in a career path that began with dance lessons as a child more than 30 years ago. She attended Canterbury High School, Ottawa’s arts-focused secondary school. 

“Her dream was always to perform,” said Yang, 34, in an interview. “But that was never the path I thought was an option for me.” 

While his sister studied dance, Yang did gymnastics. He was an elite gymnast throughout his youth, ultimately leaving Merivale High School at 16 to train in Montreal, finishing high school through correspondence courses. He was a member of the Canadian National Team and received a scholarship to study at Penn State, majoring in marketing. 

A few years after graduation, Yang was working at an advertising agency in Toronto when he got a call from a Manhattan number. To his astonishment, they asked if he would be interested in auditioning for a Broadway revival of Miss Saigon.

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COVID-19: uOttawa to require vaccination for students living in residence




Vaccination will be mandatory for students who want to live in residence at the University of Ottawa this year, with proof of vaccination and at least one dose required before move-in, or within two weeks of doing so if they can’t secure a shot before arriving.

Those who can’t receive a vaccine for “health-related reasons or other grounds protected under the Ontario Human Rights Code” will be able to submit a request for accommodation through the university’s housing portal, according to information on the university’s website.

Students with one dose living in residence will also have to receive their second dose “within the timeframe recommended by Ottawa Public Health.”

People who haven’t been granted an exemption and don’t get vaccinated or submit proof of having done so by the deadlines set out by the school will have their residence agreements terminated, uOttawa warns.

“Medical and health professionals are clear that vaccination is the most (effective) means of protecting people and those around them,” reads a statement provided to this newspaper by uOttawa’s director of strategic communications, Patrick Charette.

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“It is precisely for this reason that the University of Ottawa is requiring all students living in residence for the 2021-2022 academic year to be fully vaccinated. The University recognizes that some students may require accommodations for a variety of reasons and will be treating exceptions appropriately.”

Faculty, staff and students are also strongly encouraged to get vaccinated, the statement notes.

“Ensuring a high vaccine coverage in all communities is critical to ensuring an ongoing decline in cases and ending the pandemic. This will be especially important with the return of students to post-secondary institutions in our region in the fall of 2021.”

Neither Carleton University nor Algonquin College is currently mandating vaccination for students living in residence, according to the websites for both schools. But uOttawa isn’t alone in its policy – Western University, Trent University, Durham College and Fanshawe College have all implemented similar requirements. Seneca College, in the GTA, is going even further, making vaccination mandatory for students and staff to come to campus, in-person, for the fall term.

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