Calgary, AB,

Calgary fire crews respond to smoking related balcony fire in Skyview Ranch

smoking material in outdoor planter pot starts fire

At approximately 1:20 on Wednesday afternoon December 11th, 9-1-1 received several calls to report smoke coming from the balcony of a large multi unit residential building located at the 300 block of Skyview Ranch Drive N.E. A resident inside also activated the pull station alerting residents of the emergency.

On arrival, fire crews saw smoke and fire on a second floor balcony. Firefighters started both an external and internal fire attack. The interior attack crew evacuated the fire origin suite immediately and the exterior crew used a ladder to access the balcony and quickly extinguish the fire. Fire crews then ventilated the building to clear the smoke. A fire investigator was called to the scene.

Fire damage was limited to the exterior siding of the building with minimal smoke getting inside. No injuries were reported and all occupants were allowed to reoccupy their residences once ventilation was completed.

The cause of the fire was determined to be smoking material put in a planter pot which smouldered and eventually ignited. The fire grew to a point where it cracked the balcony window and drew the attention of some workers and residents in the area.

The improper disposal of smoking material in outdoor planters was responsible for 38 fires in 2018, eight of which caused damage greater than $100,000 including the four alarm fire in Inglewood.

“In 2018, tragically, there were five fatalities attributed to the improper disposal of smoking material,” says Carol Henke, Public Information Officer, Calgary Fire Department. “Although not as common, outdoor smoking related fires can and do happen during the winter months and can be as devastating as those that occur during the warmer seasons.”

The Calgary Fire Department would like to remind citizens of the following smoking safety tips;

  • Always dispose of cigarette butts in a deep, wide, sturdy metal container with a lid. The container should be filled part way with sand or water and emptied regularly. Do so year round.
  • Avoid smoking in bed or while under the influence of alcohol or cannabis.
  • Ensure all butts and ash are out by dousing them with water prior to putting in the trash.

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