Unattended cooking, the cause of two apartment building fires Friday: WFPS

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The Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) said unattended cooking is believed to have been the cause of two apartment building fires on Friday.

The first fire set off an alarm around 8:12 p.m. in a three-storey apartment building in the 500 block of Maryland Street.

The WFPS said the responding crews found smoke in the building and, after an offensive fire attack, declared the fire under control. Crews kept it contained in the suite where the fire had started.

The second fire happened about an hour later at 9:16 p.m. when smoke was reported in an eight-storey apartment building in the 1800 block of Pembina Highway.

Crews found smoke from a kitchen fire in one of the suites and had the fire declared under control at 9:50 p.m. This fire was also contained to the one suite.

The WFPS said the residents of the building were evacuated, though the majority were able to return to their suites after the fire was extinguished.

The WFPS said no injuries were reported.

There are no damage estimates available for either fires.

The WFPS is sharing some safety tips when it comes to preventing kitchen fires:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. Stove burners should always be turned off when leaving the kitchen, even for a short time.
  • Anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains — should always be kept away from the stovetop.
  • Oil should always be heated slowly. If cooking oil catches fire and the fire is small and manageable, use a kitchen fire extinguisher or cover the pot with a metal lid. Never use water to put out an oil fire. (Source: Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service)