A “devastating” apartment fire on Thursday was caused by improperly discarded smoking materials and damages are estimated to be at $6 million, an investigation has determined.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) was called to Castle Court apartments just after 2:30 p.m. on Thursday for a report of a fire on a fourth floor balcony.
The fire extended to the roof of the four-storey, 31 suite building located at 120 Street and 145 Avenue. It eventually collapsed.
Everyone evacuated the building and there were no injuries reported.
“This was a challenging fire with stubborn hot spots. Fire crews brought the fire under control by 8:12 p.m. and had it fully extinguished by 10:18 p.m,” EFRS spokeswoman Brittany Lewchuk said in a statement Monday.
The Emergency Support Response Team and two ETS buses were called in to help about 50 displaced residents.
Fire investigators have since determined the cause of the fire to be improperly discarded smoking materials. Damages are estimated at $6 million, broke down as $4.3 million to the structure and $1.7 million to its contents.
The property has been released to the management company and insurance engineers will assess it to determine its future.
“This was a devastating fire and one that was 100 per cent preventable,” Lewchuk said.
“Fires in multi-family buildings often originate on balconies due to the improper disposal of smoking materials. These fires are able to spread quickly and undetected between units due to wind, lack of sprinkler system and lack of fire alarm systems on balconies.”
Edmontonians are reminded to use a deep, non-combustible ashtray that cigarettes to fall into and never extinguish them in soil. Cigarettes and matches should be wet before putting them in a garbage container to prevent them from smouldering and never discard smoking materials on the ground or in dry, grassy areas.