Electrical fire forces family of 6 with toddler from Calgary home

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WATCH: A family of six is grateful to be alive after an electrical fire in their home created dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. As Lisa MacGregor reports, fire officials are reminding everyone to check their alarms – Mar 27, 2019

A family of six — including a toddler — was forced from their northeast Calgary duplex on Wednesday morning after an electrical fire.

The residents noticed the smell of smoke at around 2 a.m. and called 911 as they left their home, located in the 600 block of Marlborough Way N.E.

The Calgary Fire Department (CFD) said an electrical outlet on the outside of the house had shorted, sparking the fire. Firefighters ripped the wall open to find charring and heat damage, which was then extinguished.

According to a Wednesday news release, carbon monoxide (CO) levels in the home were a concentration of 130 parts per million.

Tenant Alisha Keizer said her 17-month-old baby is lucky to be alive after the blaze. The crib was directly behind the wall where the fire started.

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“It could have been so much worse within just an hour of time… we were told by the police department,” she said. “If we were inside for just another hour more, it would have not been the same outcome. They would have been pulling bodies instead of people.”

READ MORE: What you should know about carbon monoxide poisoning

“It smelled really weird in the house and it progressively got worse,” resident Riley Memme told Global News. “We thought it was the furnace.”

Memme said it was fortunate they noticed the smell because if they hadn’t, they would “not be alive.”

“[Firefighters said] if it was one or two more hours, if no one would have caught it… no one would be alive in the house,” resident Nevada Lissa said, “which is very scary.”

As a precaution, paramedics took two men to hospital. Four other members of the family, including the 17-month-old child, were also assessed on scene.

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The CFD said there were smoke alarms and a CO detector in the house, but none of them were working.

“What we advise people is to test your alarms monthly,” said Carole Henke, the CFD’s public information officer. “Be it smoke alarms or carbon monoxide alarms, push the test button once a month to insure it’s working. Also check the expiry date of your alarms. Smoke alarms expire after 10 years.”

– With files from Christa Dao and Lisa MacGregor

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