Improper cigarette disposal leads to significant Edmonton house fire
Edmonton fire crews are urging people to properly put out their cigarettes and other smoking materials after a house in southeast Edmonton was destroyed by fire early Thursday morning.
Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) said the house fire in the area of 22 Avenue and 41 Street was caused by the improper disposal of a cigarette.
Two men were taken to hospital after the fire broke out shortly before 3:30 a.m. Crews arrived five minutes later to find flames shooting from the roof.
“There had been eight people in the house who evacuated all on their own because they were woken up by their smoke detector,” EFRS acting district chief Scott Mead said.
“Two residents from the main floor went to hospital for smoke inhalation,” Mead said, adding he believed their injuries to be minor.
Neighbours said the house was a rental.
ERFS said five adults lived in the home — two on the main floor and three in the basement suite. Two adults and an infant were visiting the home at the time of the fire.
“I’d say the house is a loss,” Mead said. The fire gutted the home, leaving the roof a blackened shell.
READ MORE: Fire seriously damages home in west Edmonton
The flames caused significant damage to the house and crews were concerned about the flames spreading to the neighbouring home.
There is a green space to the west of the home, so only the house on the east side was in danger.
The neighbour there said they were woken up by firefighters coming into her house at 3:45 a.m.
“We heard some doorbelling and they were already in our house,” Tricia Candelaria said. “Initially we were able to stay inside for a little bit, but just to make sure they wanted to evacuate us.”
Candelaria said her home didn’t appear to be affected, but firefighters were spraying it with water just to be safe. Later Thursday, fire crews said the neighbouring home suffered minor heat damage.
Ten crews responded to the fire, which was brought under control just before 4:30 a.m.
No firefighters were injured. Total damages are pegged at $475,000.
This is the second significant fire this week caused by smoking materials. On Monday night, an elderly man was taken to hospital in critical, life-threatening condition after a fire broke out at the Churchill Manor seniors’ facility in the area of 58 Street and 34 Avenue.
In 2017, 61 fires in Edmonton were caused by smoking materials, leading to more than $3.2 million damage. So far this year, there have been 16 fires related to smoking materials with damages pegged at more than $2 million.
Smokers are cautioned to extinguish cigars and cigarettes in deep, non-combustible ashtrays. It’s important to make sure butts are wet before they’re placed in garbage containers. For more tips on how to properly extinguish cigarettes, visit the city’s website.
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