Saturday, February 18, 2006
house on fire
He'll get to check out the state of his stuff today, hopefully his vinyl is in tact. I keep thinking about how relieved I am that he's safe and sound. This so easily could have been a tragedy.
Woman seen on tape being assaulted by cop escapes rooming house blaze
By NELLY ELAYOUBI, OTTAWA SUN
A WOMAN who first made headlines after an amateur video suggested her head was slammed into a police cruiser by a police officer escaped a fire at her home yesterday by leaping from a second-storey window.
Thirty-nine-year-old Julie Cayer and a 41-year-old male who goes by the nickname "Sparky" jumped out the back window after fire broke out at a rooming house at 234 O'Connor St., at 3:45 p.m.
"It started at the back of the second floor and then spread to the second-floor roof," said district fire Chief Jeff Oxley.
Cayer, who lived alone at the apartment, and Sparky fell about 10 feet to the ground and were taken to the Queensway Carleton Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and minor injuries.
There were no other injuries reported.
Cayer's next-door neighbour, Patrick Shanks, who has been a tenant at the building for the last six years, said he was working at a nearby barbershop when he saw smoke coming from the direction of his building.
He received a call from his landlord telling him that the building was on fire and he finished up with a customer before walking home.
"I don't think I've really absorbed it yet. At least no one got seriously hurt," the 35-year-old said.
O'Connor St. remained closed to traffic for several hours between Somerset and Cooper streets, causing major disruptions in the supper-hour traffic.
The Canadian Red Cross personal disaster assistance unit, which helps people in distress find temporary housing, was at the scene.
A representative said everyone in the building, except Cayer, already had alternate places to stay.
Cayer would be placed in a hotel-type accommodation for 72 hours after she's released from hospital, they said.
The Salvation Army was also on hand, assessing what needs, such as furniture and clothing, will be required by the tenants.
Investigators were still trying to determine the cause of the blaze last night.
Damage to the building was tagged at $200,000, while content damage was pegged at $50,000.
On Nov. 25, 2000, an amateur video suggested a police officer slammed Cayer's head on the trunk of a police cruiser while taking her into custody at a Cambridge Ave. apartment building.
Last July, Const. Martin Cardinal, who had been suspended with pay since the incident came to light, pleaded guilty in criminal court to assault relating to the incident and received a conditional discharge.
He was ordered to complete four months of probation and 75 hours of community service.
The surprise guilty plea came after he won an appeal of his original conviction in March 2004.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act and was reinstated.
Cardinal is expected to return to work by April.
Neighbours said Cayer moved to the building last summer and wasn't working.
They said the young woman had a lot of friends who visited her frequently.