On Monday morning, firefighters were alerted to a fire at a house under construction in a central Edmonton neighbourhood.
Just after 5 a.m., crews were called to a home under construction on 95A Street, north of 112 Avenue, and arrived approximately five minutes later.
“When Pump 5 came on the scene, there was a working fire – it was running up the front of the structure and was fully involved into the roof trusses,” said Marty McNamara, district chief of Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.
The front-to-back duplex in the Alberta Avenue neighbourhood was framed and had windows and a roof but no siding. Five firefighter units were dispatched.
“The fire was restricted to the front of the building,” McNamara added, “and the back of the building appears to be unharmed.”
According to McNamara, workers examined the property but found no one inside. Firefighters swiftly extinguished the flames and were still on the site at 6:30 a.m., knocking out hot spots in the basement.
The fire broke out just a short distance from Edmonton Fire Station 5.
“We were just fortunate that we were able to respond quickly,” McNamara added. “They were capable to put out the fire quickly, so there were no exposures.” The fire was quickly put out.”
Although Edmonton police and fire investigators were sent, it is still unclear if the incident was suspicious or accidental.
According to McNamara, investigators are called to every residential or commercial fire. The fire caused no injuries, and a damage estimate has yet to be completed.
It’s the latest fire in an area where fire calls have increased in recent years.
There were 281 fire-related incidences in the six months between May and October of this year, compared to 148 in the six months between November 2020 and April.
Fires that are deliberately lit or suspected are the fastest-growing cause, with fires in abandoned buildings and outside experiencing the greatest increase in frequency, according to EFRS, which released the statistics last week.
To better track fires and understand their origins, the fire service is strengthening its data gathering and reporting systems.
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