Calgary fire crews fight northwest condo fire
Shortly before 10:00 on Tuesday morning, Calgary fire crews were called to a large four story condominium building at the 3700 block of 49 Street North West for reports of a fire. When fire crews arrived, smoke and flames could be seen coming from a corner unit on the fourth floor. First arriving crews deployed an aerial ladder and brought a charged hose line up the four floors to the fire floor.
The one adult who was home in the source suite when the fire broke out self evacuated but inhaled some smoke. They were assessed by EMS but were not transported to hospital at that time. An off duty firefighter who was at home and lives next door to the fire suite, went up and down the hall banging on doors to inform people of the fire and encourage evacuation. The building's fire alarm system had activated as intended, however sometimes some residents decide to not immediately evacuate, believing perhaps that it is a false alarm. The off duty firefighter then gave critical information to arriving fire crews on the quickest way to access the fire suite.
When fire crews arrived on the fourth floor, the entire hallway was full of thick black smoke. Upon entering the fire suite, they were met with immense heat, zero visibility and potential flashover conditions (when everyting in a room bursts into flame). Fire crews quickly knocked down the fire and completed a primary search. No other people were found inside. All 44 units in the building were evacuated by fire crews.
Damage to the suite of origin is extensive with smoke damage to other units in the building, especially on the fourth floor. Suites below the fire suite have sustained water damage from firefighting efforts.
It is not known when residents will be allowed back in. Property management is working with a restoration company to start the clean up.
The fire is believed to have been a result of cooking with oil which ignited. Cooking related fires are the most common indoor source of fire. The Calgary Fire Department responds to between one and two kitchen fires every single day in the city of Calgary.
Here are some important safety tips when cooking:
- 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.
- If you are simmering, baking, or roasting food, check it regularly and stay in the home. Use a timer to remind you that you are cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire–oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, curtains–away from your stovetop.
- Keep the stovetop, burners, and oven clean.
- 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 9-1-1 from a cell phone or a neighbour’s telephone.
For more information on fire safety and fire prevention, visit www.calgary.ca/fire