Improperly discarded smoking materials caused fourplex fire in Griesbach, $1.5M in damage: EFRS

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Discarded smoking materials were behind a weekend fire that caused more than $1 million in damage at a north Edmonton fourplex, fire investigators say.

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Shortly after 7 pm on Saturday, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services (EFRS) received a report of a structure fire on Sir Arthur Currie Way, in the community of Griesbach, where firefighters arrived about six minutes later to thick black smoke and a fully involved fire, a spokesperson told Postmedia in an email statement.

Crews had the fire under control shortly before 8:30 pm and declared the fire out on Sunday at 12:12 am, EFRS said. A gas line that caught fire required assistance from ATCO, EFRS added, but the building had been evacuated and crews received no report of injuries.

Fire investigators determined the fire was caused by smoking materials that were improperly discarded in decorative wood chips on the building’s exterior, EFRS said, noting damages are estimated at $1.5 million, which includes $1.2 million in damage to the structure and $300,000 for building contents.

Failing to properly dispose of cigarettes can cause damage to smokers’ own homes and unintentionally damage neighboring properties, EFRS said, adding that fire not only destroys homes but also displaces occupants and causes injuries as well as death.

EFRS said it wants to remind Edmontonians that these sorts of fires are entirely preventable and suggests extinguishing cigarette embers in water or disposing them in deep, non-combustible ashtrays.

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