Ashes spark two-home blaze
Pair of Braeside homes damaged after ashes sparked nearby woodpile
By: By Megan Sarrazin
| Posted: Saturday, Oct 27, 2012 06:00 am
A pair of Braeside homes suffered extensive damage after disposed ashes from a wood-burning fireplace ignited a nearby woodpile. The blaze quickly spread to two adjacent homes.
“It was determined that (the cause) was careless disposal of ashes,” said fire chief Ray Richards, adding damages to both properties is estimated at $250,000.
Firefighters were called to 25 Bellevue Cres. shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday after homeowner George James reported his shed was on fire.
“I was in the basement and I heard a big bang, came upstairs and the woodpile was on fire and the shed was on fire and that tree was on fire and then it jumped to the house,” he said as he stood on the sidewalk, surveying the damage.
Platoon Chief Keane Aldous said the damage to James’ home is fairly extensive.
“The fire started on the exterior and spread up the wall into the attic, so there was extensive damage up into the attic area and on the exterior,” he said.
The attic was insulated with wood chips, although Aldous said it is not known if that accelerated the fire.
James and his family have lived in the home for roughly five years. He said he had no idea what could have caused the blaze.
“There’s nothing electrical, nothing that would have started a fire,” he said, adding the only thing in the shed was chopped wood.
Next-door neighbour Noreen Woitenko’s home suffered mainly exterior damage after the fire jumped from the shed to her exterior wall.
A neighbour called Woitenko at work to alert her to the blaze.
“I was at school and I got a call from my neighbours across the street telling me my house was on fire,” she said.
She has lived in the house for roughly 45 years and said she never experienced anything like this.
“We just renovated the inside, of course, and just redid the roof,” she said.
Both homeowners said they have insurance.
St. Albert firefighters responded to a garage fire one week prior, on Oct. 17, at 50 Sheridan Drive.
“The cause was the garage unit heater ignited the wooden embers in the attic space and the damage is about $200,000,” Richards said.
The fire was isolated to the garage, and destroyed metal fabricating equipment.