Canora Gardens residents retrieve belongings

Some of the seniors displaced by a fire at a west Edmonton apartment were briefly allowed back into their suites on Thursday to retrieve their belongings.

"The smell in the apartment — it's atrocious," said Canora Gardens resident Madeline Mann. "I wore a mask, and even [then] you could smell."

About 100 people were forced to leave on Tuesday after a fire broke out in a second-floor suite.

The fire killed one woman and caused about $1.5 million in damages. Investigators say it was caused by cardboard box placed on top of a stove element.

Not everyone was allowed back in on Thursday. People who live on the second floor won't get access to their suites until next week.

However, residents have learned that it will be months before they can move back in.

"We thought maybe a couple of weeks but no such luck," Dorothy Williams said.

Edmonton Emergency Relief Services has seen an overwhelming response to a call for donations of clothing, cash and household items.

"We have had such wonderful response in our request for the Canora Gardens apartment fire that at this point we cannot accept any more clothing," Funding coordinator Heather McCallum

McCallum says donations of towels, bedding, new pillows and cash are still being accepted at the centre located at 10255 104th Street.