UPDATED: Electricity confirmed as cause of duplex fire

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Electricity was the cause of a fire that destroyed a St. Albert duplex on Saturday evening.

Fire fighters were called to an unoccupied home at 19 Lacombe Dr. at 5:46 p.m. Saturday.

The duplex could not be saved.

A neighbouring home at 18 Lacombe Dr. had its siding melted off but firefighters were able to protect the rest of that building, said Mike Bos, fire prevention officer.

No injuries were reported.

“(The other house) had fire retardant OSB (oriented strand board) underneath,” he said. “That actually prevented the house from starting on fire, along with the efforts of the fire department.”

Bos said the fire station was located near the burning house.

Crews had already noticed the fire shortly before the call came in and were getting ready to respond to it, he said. They saw smoke and heard cracking and popping from the building, he said.

Given the speed the fire moved when crews arrived, it had probably been burning for a little while at a low level, Bos added.

The damage to the duplex is estimated at about $500,000.

Bos confirmed Tuesday that the fire was started by an electrical current.

“We did confirm that the fire was electrical in nature and originated below the meter,” he said.

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