Cooking oil left unattended in a garage was the cause of a house fire that quickly spread to others in Calgary’s northeast on Friday, according to the Calgary Fire Department.
CFD spokesperson Carol Henke said oil was being heated unattended in a pot when it reached ignition temperature. The fire quickly spread to the rest of the home and then neighbouring homes.
When crews arrived, they found the main home engulfed in flames and the houses on either side were also on fire.
Henke said three homes were destroyed and two others sustained heat damage.
WATCH: A northeast Calgary fire destroyed one home and damaged neighbouring houses Friday amid record-breaking temperatures. Michael King reports.
Fire investigators believe the oil was heating on a stove that was either propane or natural gas.
Henke added that cooking left unattended is the most common cause of indoor fires that Calgary firefighters respond to.
“We attend one to two a day. Almost half of those deal with oil that is then heated to ignition temperature,” she said. “So cooking left unattended is a very, very common cause of fire that we attend every single day in this city.”
WATCH: Investigators have determined that cooking oil left unattended was to blame for a devastating fire that destroyed three homes. Blake Lough reports.
Henke said once oil reaches its ignition temperature it will immediately burst into flames and often times people return to their kitchens to find things already on fire and the flames quickly spreading.
Trying to move the pot or throw water on the blaze is the wrong approach if you do have a grease fire in your home. Henke said if it’s safe, you should put on an oven mit and cover the pot with a lid and turn off the element.