Street Help Impacted by El-Mayor Fire

Street Help Homeless Centre on Wyandotte St. is closed until further notice.

Fire broke out at the El-Mayor restaurant a few doors down from the shelter around midnight, forcing seven people to move from the main floor of the shelter to a staff apartment around the corner.

Administrator Christine Wilson-Furlonger says she arrived at the centre around 3:30am and there was a thick cloud of smoke inside. "I just couldn't believe that much smoke had actually come into the building," she says. "We rushed to get a wet face cloth to make everybody cover their nose and mouth."

Windsor Fire & Rescue Services attended Street Help and told Wilson-Furlonger, they will have a bit of clean up work ahead of them.

"They [WFRS] advised us if there's any food such as potatoes or onions, things that you don't normally refrigerate, we're going to have to throw out all that food."  

Wilson-Furlonger says she isn't sure how long they'll be closed for.

"We're not going to be able to  obviously cook or do anything until the power is restored to the building and that was an immense fire, it was shocking to see and to be that close to such a big fire, I was just overwhelmed."

In an interview with AM800 News, the Executive Director of the Downtown Mission says he has been in touch with staff at Street Help and told them their guests are welcome.

" We are offering any assistance we can so that her [Christine Wilson-Furlonger] guests know of course they always have a place to go," says Ron Dunn. "We're always prepared. A lot of folks kind of migrate back and forth anyway's so we're not overly concerned and we're always prepared with a little extra in the kitchen."

No injuries are reported as a result of the fire and an investigator from the Fire Marhal's office is expected to be on scene around 3pm.



— With files from AM800's Teresinha Medeiros & Rob Hindi