A Tuesday morning fire that damaged five homes in norththeast Edmonton was caused by smoking materials not being discarded properly, resulting in over $1 million in damages.
Edmonton Fire Rescues Services (EFRS) received more than 20 calls on March 23 reporting a house on fire near 137 Avenue and 37 Street. The first call came in at 7:24 a.m. and crews arrived three minutes later to a fully involved house fire, an EFRS news release said Wednesday.
A total of seven crews, about 30 firefighters, attended the scene. The fire was declared under control by 9:13 a.m. and fully extinguished by 3:13 p.m.
EFRS spokeswoman Brittany Lewchuk said in the Wednesday release the fire originated in an attached garage and a total of five houses were damaged by heat and water. There were no reported injuries due to the fire.
Fire investigators determined the blaze was caused by “improperly discarded smoker’s material.” Damages are estimated at $1.2 million, with $1 million of that to the structure and $200,000 attributed to contents.
“This event reinforces how important it is to have working smoke alarms in your home and to always know at least two ways out of every room within your home,” said Lewchuk. “Fires caused by improperly discarded smokers material are 100 per cent preventable.”
Lewchuk said spring is a common time for fires related to smoking matierals because of dry weather conditions and winds. EFRS urges people who smoke to use deep, non-comustible ashtrays; to wet cigarette butts and matches; and to never extinguish smoking material in plant pots, potting soil or peat moss or other types of soil.