| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 01, 2012 01:35 pm
A raging fire destroyed a home in North Ridge Tuesday night, but all of the occupants got out safely.
Early indications are that a citronella candle sparked the blaze at 76 Normandeau Cres., levelling the home and damaging neighbouring properties as well.
"The fire origin was right at the front entrance and it rapidly burned up the wall and into the attic roof space," said Fire Chief Ray Richards on Tuesday morning.
He estimated the damage to all three homes at between $750,000 and $1 million.
Once crews had determined that the home's occupants were safe outside, they focused on preventing the fire from spreading, said platoon chief Keane Aldous, who was on scene Tuesday night.
"It was a totally defensive fire, because when we arrived the fire was fully involved," he said. "The primary concern was the exposure of the other homes."
Aldous said one firefighter experienced some exhaustion, but recovered quickly and otherwise no one was injured.
The entire roof of the home was burned away, destroying the second floor. The first floor was also heavily damaged. Siding on the neighbouring properties had melted, but otherwise the damage to them appeared minor.
Richards credited neighbours, who promptly called 911, with helping crews get to the fire quickly. He said crews arrived within six minutes of getting the call.
"Had we had much more delay, it would have been disastrous," he said.
Richards said neighbours who provided photos have also helped the investigation.
"They really help us determine the state of the fire when we arrive," he said.
With the local mosquito population on the rise, many people may start to use citronella or similar candles and should be careful, said investigator Les Mroz.
"The big thing with any type of candle is not placing it close to combustible materials or on combustible materials," he said.
Note: photo supplied by Cory Groshko.