Appliance malfunction causes fire

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The Airdrie Fire Department (AFD) responded to a fire at a home on Southcreek Place S.E. Jan. 11, that was determined to be due to the failure of a heating unit, according to Deputy Fire Chief Garth Rabel.

“They had an addition built on to their two-storey home and there was a gas (fired unit) that was doing the heating,” he said.

“It had heated the area around where it was sitting on the floor and conditions were such that it started a small fire and headed down into the crawl space underneath the home’s addition.”

Rabel said crews responded to the home at 7:03 p.m. to find there was already a fire burning in the crawl space.

According to Rabel, the family was home when the fire started but all members got out before fire crews arrived. No other homes in the area needed to be evacuated.

“The fire was contained quite quickly. The team got to it quite quickly,” he said.

“It was a bit of a stubborn fire because they had to open up the floor to get to up underneath where it burnt down to, though. That was a bit of a challenge.”

The preliminary estimate of damage to the home is approximately $15,000.

Rabel said residents should take care when using any kind of gas- or electrical-powered appliances.

“We need to take maintenance of our heating appliances seriously and facilitate or do maintenance on them regularly,” he said.

“Hot water tanks, fireplaces – all those things that we see that could cause a problem – when it’s cold, everything is working overtime. They have about a 10-year life cycle. Sometimes we let things lapse and they fail on us and we have these safety issues.”

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