Saskatoon duplex hearth brought on by transportable heaters: Fireplace division

A duplex fire on the 1400 block of Avenue H North was caused by a portable heater and nearby combustible material, according to the Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD).

Crews responded to the blaze just after 1 p.m. on Friday.

“The duplex had a breakdown of its furnace on Dec. 23. Portable heaters had been deployed temporarily while the furnace was repaired. The furnace was restored and functioning at the time of the fire however, portable heaters were still being used. On arrival, first arriving fire crews reported a structure fully involved in fire. Flames and smoke were visible from the windows and eaves,” an SFD news release said.

Firefighters started extinguishing the fire from the outside before they moved inside to put out the blaze.

The south unit was not destroyed due to the fire separation, SFD said.

However, SFD has not allowed residents to return due to the extent of the damage.

“The duplex’s electrical mast sustained substantial fire damage and power is not able to be restored at this time,” the news release said.

Damage is estimated to be around $250,000.

Three people have been rehoused by the Ministry of Social Services, while other occupants were able to stay with friends.

There were no injuries reported.

SFD said the occupants were able to get out safely thanks to smoke alarms in the duplex. 

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