Investigators say "child's fire-play" was the probable cause of a fire that destroyed two homes in Red Deer’s Johnstone Crossing neighbourhood.
The blaze at the corner of Jack Crescent and Jenner Crescent broke out just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
“When we arrived there was fire going up into the attic of one house, and the roof collapsed shortly afterwards,” says Fire Prevention Officer Shane Dussault, adding the fire appears to have started between the two houses. “When fires are outside the houses they go quite quickly once they get up into the attic of the houses.”
Five people were in the homes when the fire occured. Each escaped without injury thanks to an alert from a neighbour.
Total damage to both homes is estimated to be $650,000.
On Thursday, Red Deer RCMP confirmed that no charges will be laid as it has been deemed the fire is non-criminal in nature. An exact cause of the fire is expected to be released later [Thursday].
Red Deer Emergency Services members will be going door-to-door in the area Thursday evening to answer any quesetions neighbours may have about fire, as part of the After the Fire safety program.
Officials are reminding residents of these important fire safety tips to prevent fires at home:
- Keep barbeques away from siding and deck rails, and never leave a barbeque unattended while cooking
- Do not store flammable materials near a barbeque or cooking surface
- Keep children a safe distance from barbeques and fires; at least one metre
- Always dispose of cigarettes in proper containers, not plant pots which can easily catch fire
- Check your smoke alarms today; your life may depend on it one day.
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