Electric space heater sparked fatal west Edmonton garage fire

Fire crews were called to a garage fire in the area of 107 Avenue and 153 Street Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. Ross Neitz, Global News

EDMONTON – Fire investigators have determined an electric space heater is to blame for a deadly garage fire in west Edmonton Wednesday evening.

Crews were called to a fire in a detached garage, in the area of 107 Avenue and 153 Street, around 6:25 p.m.

“On route we were advised that there may be somebody inside the garage,” said Captain Leonard Mushtuk with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

Fire crews arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the garage.

A 66-year-old man was pulled out of the garage and declared dead, fire crews said.

A portion of the alley behind the garage was cordoned off with yellow police tape Wednesday night, as officers continued to investigate.

Thursday afternoon, Wayne Pawlowski, chief of fire investigations, said the cause of the fire was an electric space heater “that was placed too close to some combustibles within a holiday trailer that was located inside the garage.”

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Pawlowski says the 66-year-old was not the owner of the home, but was staying in the holiday trailer in the garage.

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“He was being helped out by the owner of the property, who was allowing this fellow to stay there,” Pawlowski added.

This is the second deadly garage fire Edmonton has seen in less than two weeks. On Monday, Feb. 3 two people were killed and another seriously injured after an open flame from a propane-fuelled heater ignited a gasoline air-vapour mixture and caused an explosion in a south Edmonton garage.

Damage to the garage in west Edmonton is estimated at $25,000.

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*This story was originally published on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014. It was updated at 4:04 p.m. Thursday, Feb, 13, 2014 to include details on the cause of the fire. 

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