| Posted: Wednesday, Aug 08, 2012 06:00 am
Another fire, this time in the garage of a Heritage Lakes’ home, had fire crews busy on Sunday morning, but St. Albert’s chief insists the most recent blaze is not related to any of the four that have taken place in the last three weeks.
St. Albert Fire and Emergency Services Chief Ray Richards says smoke from the fire triggered the smoke detectors in the home, which awoke the occupants. After finding the fire in the garage, the homeowners called 911. No one was injured.
Fifteen firefighters from three stations responded to the call, said Richards. The primary concern was removing a vehicle inside the garage, which was done without complication. The fire was then extinguished.
Richards estimated damages at $75,000, mostly from loss of the vehicle and the contents of the garage. No cause has yet been officially determined, but Cpl. Laurel Kading of the St. Albert RCMP said it looked like a mosquito coil might be to blame.
“It did originate in the garage and we know the location where it started, but we just have to get some more information on the ignition source,” said Richards.
The garage was also drywalled, which Richards credited with restricting smoke damage to the rest of the house.
“There was very little smoke damage.”
Though the cause of the fire hasn’t yet been established, Richards was quick to rule out any connection with an incident involving an incendiary device last week in Heritage Lakes.
“I can say it’s not related to that.”
The RCMP are investigating the discovery of a partially ignited device that was discovered on the back deck of a Heritage Lakes’ home Aug. 2. While it showed signs of having burned for a brief period of time, the device did not fully ignite.
Kading said there was no new information on the incident involving the incendiary device. There were also no developments on a fire that was deliberately set at a Poirier Avenue bus stop July 23. It damaged a shelter, newspaper box and several trees.
The garage fire is also the fourth significant fire in St. Albert in less than a month and the second in less than a week. On July 31 a citronella candle ignited a blaze that destroyed a home on Normandeau Crescent.
Kading pointed out the two most recent fires — Sunday’s garage fire and the July 31 fire — potentially involved mosquito repellent sources, if the mosquito coil is confirmed as the source of Sunday’s fire. She urged people to be more vigilant when using devices such as citronella candles or coils.
“A coil that appears to be smoking is still a source of ignition,” she said.
A fourth fire in late July also destroyed a home in Braeside.
Richards said that St. Albert has been bucking the trend for fires for a city of its size, for the last five years. Now it seems the city has joined the trend.
“I think what’s happening is that the frequency of fires we’re seeing, they’re all clearly non-related. We’re seeing the frequency of fires that communities have had for the last little while.”