Firefighter calls for mayday while trying to find person missing in house fire

One person is unaccounted for after firefighters battled a house fire in the southwest Calgary district of Southwood early Tuesday morning.

Heavy smoke was coming from the basement of the single-storey house on the 10000 block of Elbow Drive S.W. when crews arrived shortly before 5 a.m., said Calgary Fire Department Batt. Chief Paul Frederick.

A second alarm was called to bring in extra resources. 

Four people living upstairs and one downstairs resident had escaped from the burning house, however there were reports that one more person, a basement resident, was missing.

Crew member called mayday

Firefighters had to contend with high heat and a challenging layout in the basement that resulted in one crew member calling a mayday after getting disoriented, the fire department said in a release.

“Additional search teams were immediately sent in to assist. The crew was able to find their way to an exit on their own and no injuries were reported,” the release said.

The residents were assessed at the scene by EMS crews.

The fire was quickly put out with a combination of interior and exterior hose lines, the fire department said.

The basement was extensively damaged.

A fire investigator is looking into the cause of the blaze.

The basement of this house in Southwood was badly damaged in a fire early Tuesday morning. (Mike Symington/CBC)

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