London fire officials are stressing the importance of barbecue safety in the wake of a major blaze at a home in south London on Monday that left two people, including a firefighter, with minor injuries, and caused more than $400,000 in damage.
Emergency crews were called to the scene at 30 Parkside Cres., near Wharncliffe Road and Ferndale Avenue, for a possible residential fire around 2:20 p.m. At the scene, crews were met with heavy flame and smoke from the roof area of the single-storey home.
Crews engaged in an offensive attack and entered the home, where they determined the fire was predominately in the attic space, said Platoon Chief Colin Shewell.
“We ended up pulling our crews out… going defensive, which is fighting the fire from the outside, and we were able to establish aerial operations with our ladder trucks and… extinguish the fire quite quickly,” Shewell said.
Call notes show firefighters arrived on scene within five minutes, at 2:26 p.m., and had the fire knocked down by 2:43 p.m.
Preliminary investigation has found the fire had spread to the attic space from the home’s rear deck and appears to have been sparked by a barbecue.
“The information we were provided is that they just started the barbecue and it migrated, something happened, and it ignited the deck, got up the wall into the soffit, and through into the attic area, and then was fanned by a wind from the southeast,” Shewell said, adding the fire spread to a significant portion of the building, leaving in excess of $400,000 in damage.
All of the home’s occupants made it out safely. Two people, one of them a firefighter, were treated and released at the scene for injuries described as minor in nature.
Crews managed to keep the blaze from spreading to neighbouring properties, however heat from the flames caused some melted siding to a house next door.
“The occupants on both sides were able to get back into their homes,” Shewell said, adding the residents of the home involved managed to find accommodation for the night.
Fire officials are using the incident as an opportunity to stress the importance of keeping barbecues off of combustible surfaces and a safe distance away from your home’s exterior.
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“We all like that convenience that it’s close to a doorway or easy migration out from the kitchen, but this is a stark reminder of having it on decks or near flammable materials, such as siding, that if something was to happen… how easy it can migrate,” Shewell said.
The fire remains under investigation but doesn’t appear suspicious.