Two fires and a standoff in Park Ex … and all in the same week

The neighborhood was shaken this past week in one occurrence after another, but the community did what it does best in the face of disaster and adversity.

As far as strange and terrible circumstances go, Park Extension certainly had it share this past week, and in the form of fire and police intervention. The first of two fires that rocked the very foundation of the community was by far the worst, the disaster affecting many Park Extension families. The standoff itself was a frightening experience for many as well, as was seen on social media, but the community banded together once again in light of each of these disasters.

The standoff …

Police Dodge Charger cruisers (up to 20) sitting at the intersection of Ogilvy and Hutchison … as police dealt with a man who refused to exit his premises

Local police surrounded a building near the corner of Ogilvy and Hutchison in Park-Extension on the morning of October 23rd. According to eye-witnesses, the police were there since 10AM or thereabouts. Law enforcement officers were indeed present and in droves apparently (up to 20 vehicles according to eye-witnesses) for quite a while as the day progressed, carrying what locals called: large assault weapons.

Many locals commenting on social media spoke of a possibility that it was all about a man who refused to come out of his apartment situated near that corner and/or intersection specified—a man who had been making quite a ruckus for a few days in fact.

Many seem to think that it was a wellness check by police, but that too still remains to be determined. According to Wikipedia, a wellness check is: “In the United States and Canada, a wellness check is an in-person visit from one or more law enforcement officers, especially in response to a request from a friend or family member who is concerned about the person’s mental health.”

The situation was handled expertly by police and without violence, and although the ordeal was seemingly drawn out, no one was injured. The event was not even reported when I called our police/media source as a crime of note for the day, therefore the seriousness of the actual event, or lack thereof is evident in that alone, law enforcement taking the proper precaution to avoid disaster.

The first of two fires in the community …

The façade of the building on Querbes after the fire … boarded up  and all tenants in need of a place to stay while work gets done on the building

The fire erupted in a building on Querbes on October 21st, leaving 20 people without a place to stay. The building which had three floors was completely damaged and even though fire fighters tried their best, it was declared uninhabitable, as has been reported by other news outlets.

I ventured to the building a few days later and it was boarded up, the rubble from the fire atop the lawn out front. According to a social media post by local head nurse and community member Sasha M. Dyke, all families in the building were affected and were in dire need of help … Sasha posting a call out to those in the community wishing to help. The community responded, and apparently, help is being given to those in need. “We’ve got work to do. Fifteen homes up in smoke at 7460 Querbes. Janitor is going to get me in touch with the tenants. Red Cross can put them up for a few nights but they’re going to need a lot of help. Anybody who wants to help (like we did on Wiseman last year) give me a shout.” He is also setting up a fundraiser for the families. To donate, consult his Facebook page. Here’s the link to the fundraiser:!/

While at the building, I asked a neighbor if he’d seen the fire, and he said it was controlled when it happened, not affecting the other buildings. It was boarded up preventing entry past the building’s vestibule and/or entrance.

The inner vestibule of the building … the door boarded up and blocking entry to one and all

Sasha Dyck posted an update on his personal social media page a few days later: “Half the tenants have been contacted and we’re putting together resources for them now. Major need is going to be housing, as the landlord told them not to expect to move back for at least two months. Please send me any leads you might have.”

The second fire in Park Ex

A fire rocks the Maison Bleu Park Extension location—some claim that it may have been because of a pursuit of a white BMW by police (via Google Images / 2019)

Located at 7867 Querbes, La Maison Bleu has been there for its community since the early 2000s … specifically in the realm of Social Prenatal Care, also caring for children after birth and of course mothers in need as well. They have other locations on the island of Montréal, running the gamut in terms of services offered as specified and then some.

The fire occurred on the 25th and the specifics are still rather unclear, but what was spoken about on social media was a possibility involving an automobile accident, the vehicle subsequently catching fire and burning next to the building itself, leading of course to the fire spreading and damaging the building.

There are rumors circulating that it was a possible police pursuit but we cannot confirm that at this time.