A fire in a townhouse in northeast Calgary on Tuesday has forced five people, including an infant, from two homes.
Calgary fire spokesperson Carol Henke said the call about the blaze came from a passerby who reported seeing thick smoke coming from the townhouse in the 400 block of 64 Avenue N.E. The person said they saw one person inside and another outside the building.
Two adults and a baby were evacuated from the suite where the blaze started and two other adults were evacuated from the next door unit as a precaution.
Henke said it appears the fire started in the kitchen. A charred and burned oven was seen sitting on the grass outside the townhouse on Tuesday afternoon.
The Calgary Fire Department said the home where the blaze started didn’t have working fire alarms.
The home was significantly damaged, most notably in the kitchen, and the family of five — two school-aged children weren’t at home at the time of the fire — are out of their home until repairs are done. The next-door unit wasn’t damaged, CFD said.
The fire department gave the following tips to avoid kitchen fires:
- Stay in the kitchen when you are frying, boiling, grilling or broiling food. Turn off the burner if you leave the kitchen for any reason
- Always keep a lid nearby when you are cooking. If a small grease fire starts in a pan, smother the flames by sliding the lid over the pan. Turn off the burner. Do not move the pan. To keep the fire from restarting, leave the lid on until the pan has cooled
- Never pour water on a cooking pan grease fire
- Never discharge a portable fire extinguisher into a grease fire because it will spread the fire
- When in doubt, just get out! When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. After you leave, call 911 from a cell phone or a neighbour’s telephone
- Ensure your home has working smoke alarms on every level. Test them monthly and change the batteries annually. Replace battery-operated and hardwired alarms after 10 years
- Plan and practise your escape — have two ways out of every room