5 people homeless after northeast Calgary house fire

image.jpg

Fire investigators say unattended candles sparked a blaze that resulted in five people forced out of their home in northeast Calgary.

Crews were called to the scene, at a home on Eldorado Close N.E. at about 10:20 a.m. on Friday.

Once firefighters arrived, they found smoke coming from a number of the second-storey windows of the home.

They immediately began an interior attack on the fire, quickly bringing it under control and limiting fire damage to a single room, however, other rooms of the house were also damaged.

"Other damage to the home consisted of smoke damage to the entire second floor and water damage as a result of firefighting efforts," officials said in a release.

There were no injuries, officials say, as all five occupants made it safely out of the home.

They are now being assisted by teams with the Canadian Red Cross.

NO WORKING SMOKE ALARMS

A fire investigator attended the scene shortly after the incident was brought under control and found the blaze began with a number of unattended candles on the second floor of the home.

They also found there were no functioning smoke alarms on the second floor nor anywhere else inside the home, meaning the occupants were likely not alerted to the fire until it was too late.

"The Calgary Fire department would also like to remind citizens of the importance of having working smoke alarms on every level of your home and especially on levels where people sleep," officials said in a release.

"It is now recommended that smoke alarms be placed not only outside sleeping areas but inside as well."

Inside rental properties, it is the landlord's responsibility to ensure there are smoke alarms inside the property and the tenant is required to maintain them, including but not limited to changing the batteries on a yearly basis and testing them regularly.

UNATTENDED CANDLES A COMMON CAUSE OF FIRES

The Calgary Fire Department says candles that are left unattended are one of the most common causes of house fires.

It is vital that residents blow out all candles when they leave a room or go to bed and avoid all use of candles inside bedrooms or other areas where people commonly fall asleep.

All candle holders must be sturdy and made out of non-combustible materials, candles must be kept away from anything that can burn and they should be placed on stable areas free of clutter.