At approximately 8:40 on the evening of Wednesday, April 12, multiple calls started coming in to 9-1-1 reporting a garage fire on Sherwood Mount N.W. Callers could hear explosions and were reporting that the garage was fully involved with fire.
When fire crews arrived, a second alarm was struck for additional resources. This was due to reports that one person may be trapped inside as well as the volume of fire visible.
Two occupants, a father and his adult daughter were home at the time of the fire. Both were transported to hospital by EMS for smoke inhalation injuries. Two cats were also in the home at the time of the fire and one is still missing.
Damage to the home is extensive and the attached garage is destroyed. Some neighbouring structures sustained heat damage to their siding.
A Calgary Fire Department Fire Investigator attended the scene. Based on witness statements and evidence found in the garage, the investigator believes this fire may have started due to lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium-ion batteries supply power to many kinds of devices however can fail and start a fire for several reasons such as if not used correctly, if damaged or if defective. These batteries can then overheat, catch on fire or explode.
Stop using the battery immediately if you notice these problems: odor, change in color, too much heat, change in shape, leaking, or odd noises. If it is safe to do so, move the device away from anything that can catch fire. Always evacuate and call 9-1-1 if there are signs of smoke or fire.
Lithium Ion Battery Safety Tips:
· Purchase and use devices that are listed by a qualified testing laboratory.
· Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
· Only use the battery that is designed for the device.
· Put batteries in the device the right way.
· Only use the charging cord that came with the device.
· Do not charge a device under your pillow, on your bed, or on a couch.
· Do not keep charging the device or device battery after it is fully charged.
· Keep batteries at room temperature when possible.
· Do not charge them at temperatures below 32°F (0°C) or above 105°F (40°C).
· Store batteries away from anything that can catch fire.
— Do not put lithium-ion batteries in the trash.
— Take them to a battery recycling location or contact your community for disposal instructions.
— Do not put discarded batteries in piles.
Ensure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and have a home escape plan that you practice twice per year. Fore more fire prevention and fire safety information, please visit calgary.ca/fire
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