Calgary, AB,

Calgary fire crews quickly extinguish kitchen fire in the south east

At approximately 2:45 on Friday afternoon December 18th, Calgary fire crews responded to the 1500 block of 38 Street SE for reports of a house fire. When firefighters arrived at the fourplex, dark smoke was coming from one of the windows. Fire crews quickly entered the residence and extinguished the fire successfully limiting damage to the kitchen area. The rest of the suite sustained smoke and heat damage as a result of the intense fire. The unit below the fire suite also sustained some slight smoke damage however the two suites on the north side of the fourplex were unaffected.

All seven residents of the four units were out of the building prior to fire crews' arrival on scene.  Two cats were rescued by firefighters from the fire suite. One cat and one dog from the other suites self evacuated due to an open door and then ran off. All animals have since been reunited with their owners. 

A Calgary Fire Department fire investigator attended the scene and determined that the fire was accidental in nature and a result of unattended cooking with oil.  When oil reaches its ignition temperature, it bursts into flames and will quickly spread to anything nearby.

Fire crews ensured that the three other suites all have working smoke alarms and installed two new smoke alarms in suites that did not have them. It is unknown at this time if the fire suite had functioning smoke alarms as they had melted due to the high heat.

Five adults are displaced as a result of this fire.  Four adults  and two cats from the fire suite are receiving assistance from the Red Cross.  One adult from the downstairs suite will be temporarily displaced. The suites on the north side have since been reoccupied.

Fire crews remain on scene to asses for any hot spots and will perform fire watch into the night.

The Calgary Fire Department responds to kitchen fires every single day.  The most common cause of kitchen fires is cooking left unattended. Cooking with oil can be especially dangerous. Here are some tips to help you stay safe in the kitchen:

  • 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 and oven mitt 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 neighbor’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 practice your escape with everyone in your home. Have two ways out of every room and ensure everyone knows where the outside meeting place is.
  • Fire doubles in size every 30-60 seconds so you only have a few minutes to get out safely once a fire takes hold.

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