Stovetop source of Totem Court fire last week

Fire crews battle a fire at an apartment building inthe 9100 bloack of 93a Street on Friday. Photo by Chris Newton

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – A stovetop fire has been found to be the cause of a fire at the Totem Court apartment building on 93a Street last Friday.

The Fort St. John Fire Department got a call of heavy smoke in the apartment building, which is located one block south of the fire hall on June 17th at approximately 7:00 AM. Upon arrival two minutes later, crews noted that there was smoke emanating from the building, as well as a small amount of visible flame on the roof. Fire Chief Fred Burrows said that crews brought a fire hose up the stairs to the fourth-story unit where the fire had originated on the unit’s stove. According to Burrows, the fire had spread into the stove’s ventilation fan ducting which exited out the building’s roof, necessitating the use of a ladder truck to extinguish the fire.

Burrows says that damage to the building was largely contained to the kitchen of the unit where the fire began. The unit also suffered from smoke damage, and the unit on the third floor suffered very minor water damage. In addition, the tar and gravel roof also suffered bubbling due to the intense heat of the fire. Fire crews needed to remove a portion of the roof to check for any damage in the building’s attic space, and noted that though there was charring, the fire had not spread within the ceiling space.

Burrows added that in addition to having a properly-working smoke detector, residents of older apartment buildings in Fort St. John need to be aware of the fact that those building usually have local fire alarms, meaning that the fire department is not automatically notified when an alarm is triggered.

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