4 homes gutted, 10 evacuated by massive blaze in northwest Calgary
CALGARY – The Calgary Fire Department says four homes were destroyed by a blaze in the northwest community of Kincora on Tuesday.
Crews were called to the 300 block of Kincora Drive N.W. shortly before 2 a.m.
When they arrived, firefighters found two homes engulfed in flames.
“The two houses were fully involved, the fire was infringing on a third,” Acting Battalion Chief Fred Rogi said. “The crews had to put up with strong winds, which caused the fire to extend to the third and fourth house.”
Rogi added the homes involved were “fairly close together.”
Enmax and ATCO Gas were called to the scene to shut off utilities to the damaged homes.
A total of 30 firefighters and 11 apparatus responded to the fire.
WATCH: Viewer video sent to Global News shows a home in northwest Calgary collapse amid a raging fire
In addition to the four homes which were damaged, another ten were evacuated as a precaution.
Calgary Transit buses were used to shelter displaced residents.
“We’ve accounted for most of the people… there [were] residents that got in their cars and drove away, we’re still trying to track them down,” Rogi said.
Area resident Bob Hlavacek said he awoke to the sound of police banging on his front door, urging him to leave his home.
“I could see the flames…through my bonus room window. I knew it was close,” Hlavacek said. “Grabbed my cat, grabbed my truck and wheeled out.”
“I was very fortunate. I was the first house not to get any damage. This really hits close to home.”
No injuries were reported.
An investigation into what sparked the fire is underway.
Most homes in Kincora were built 10 to 15 years ago, before fire safety building codes were changed in Alberta.
There are now new requirements for homes built close together or 1.2 metres from the property line.
Builders must use fire resistant construction techniques and materials.
WATCH: The community of Kincora was built 10 to 15-years-ago, before building code changed for homes built so close together. Tony Tighe looks at the changes and how fire safety is becoming a bigger issue for home buyers.
They include fire resistant gypsum board under vinyl siding or non-combustible siding.
There are also restrictions on size and amount of windows facing a neighbour and non-vented soffits.
“They’re not only in new subdivisions, they’re in existing communities and again bring that same level playing field to those type of developments,” Chief Building Inspector with the City of Calgary Marco Civitarese said.
“Some of those initiatives certainly have made a difference in my view towards spread of fire for sure,” he added.
Realtors say many home buyers are now asking about fire proof materials and fire safety when looking at homes.
Realtors get the information from the original home builder or often ask a home inspector to find the answers.
Anyone with photos, video or information on the fire is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
– With files from Doug Vaessen and Tony Tighe
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