Thompson Pentecostal Assembly (TPA) is offering help to those who have lost everything to an apartment building fire.

In the early morning of September 23, Thompson fire crews responded to a call at the Forest View Suites in Thompson, Manitoba.

In a Facebook post, the Thompson Professional Firefighters Association (TPFA) says, "Crews encountered heavy smoke conditions and focused on extinguishing the fire. Arriving Thompson RCMP members pitched in and began notifying and assisting occupants to start evacuating. This was much appreciated as it allowed firefighters to gain control of the fire before conditions deteriorated."

Some occupants of the building were only able to "seek shelter in place" on their apartment balconies until heavy smoke conditions could be reduced to facilitate a safer evacuation.

TFPA says there were no injuries where reported, but the damage was extensive to the building. The fire is still under investigation. 

Local churches and organizations alongside the City of Thompson have been sheltering and providing help to those displaced by the fire.

"We feel this is fulfilling our call to the people of Thompson to help where we can."

Pastor Mel Versluis at TPA says, "One of the things we've heard is that people lost a lot of stuff. You know, the clothing they cannot access or has been destroyed.

"MKO called us yesterday and said there are people that have jobs and want to go back to work, but they don't have any clothes to go to work in."

Versluis and TPA saw this as an opportunity to help: "One of the things we have is time and space, so we thought we could be a place where the community can come and drop off clothes.

"The Red Cross wasn't able to receive it but we could. We have some volunteers who are willing to sort the clothes out, help the people pick out clothes when they get here. It was really easy for us to just say, 'Yes.'"

The giving up of TPA's space and time was a no-brainer, says Versluis, "Spiritually, it's exactly what we're called to do.

"We believe that our role in the community is to help - to be the hands and feet of Jesus."

The City of Thompson's emergency shelter for evacuees closed this morning. While many have made arrangements, there are still people without a place to go.

The City of Thompson says, "The Province of Manitoba and Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak have been at the TRCC helping evacuees make initial arrangements towards finding long-term housing."

As residents work to put their lives together, Versluis asks for prayer: "Pray for the community that they will find the resources as soon as possible, that housing will open up, the things that they lost will be recovered.

"But more than anything, that they'll be able to get back home, to a place that is theirs."