Firefighters were called to the 2000 block of Kensington Road on the city’s west side shortly before 2:30 p.m. Sunday, but said they arrived to a fire that was already out.
Jagtar Toor told Global News he was gardening when he a neighbour noticed a fire near a garbage bin.
“I just took the hose and started putting water on it. It helped a little but not (a lot),” he said.
“Then after a while, my next-door neighbour came and he took another hose and (helped).”
Raj Toor, Jagtar’s son, said he was inside a home when he heard his wife screaming.
“I ran down the street and I could see that my father was there trying to fight this fire with a garden hose… so me and one of the neighbours grabbed garden hoses and we were able to put out the fire in probably about 10 or 15 minutes,” he said.
The fire burned the siding of a house and melted the siding of another. Damage is estimated at $30,000.
A fire inspector said the fire started due to self-heating of a hot material that had been deposited in a household recycling bin.
Fire Battalion Chief Steve Brissaw said residents should always call the city’s firefighters first, saying it is dangerous work.
“If people try to put the fire out themselves, they often get burnt,” he said.
— With files from Global News’ Dave Giles