People burnt out of their Alberta condos
Clareview condo fire started by cigarette discarded in diaper pail
Clareview condo owners begin returning home Monday after massive blaze
Mission condo fire caused by discarded cigarette, says Calgary Fire Dept
Condo fire causes $16.3 million in damage
Calgary condo building hit by fire 2 years after floods

Clareview condo fire started by cigarette discarded in diaper pail
CBC News —Edmonton
25 May 2015

A cigarette butt discarded in a diaper pail caused the $16.3-million fire that destroyed most of a four-storey building at a northeast Edmonton condominium complex.

"This was a devastating fire, we are extremely fortunate that there were no fatalities and no major injuries sustained by citizens or our crews," said fire chief Ken Block.

"This fire was completely preventable," he said. "Edmontonians need to understand their actions can have profound and devastating effects on their neighbours, community and city.

If this fire had started at a different time of day, the outcome may have been very different."

The fire broke out on a balcony at the complex at 301 Clareview Station Drive West just before 5 p.m. on Friday. It left up to 200 people homeless.

Two firefighters and one civilian suffered minor injuries.

Block said ​the fire was the second major fire in Edmonton in less than a year caused by smoking materials.

There have been 55 fires in large residential buildings over the last four or five years caused by careless smoking, Block said.

Residents of 44 of the 106 suites damaged in the fire were allowed to retrieve personal belongings from the site Monday.

"It's a disaster, a big mess," said Basel Mansour. "It stinks inside, soaked with water.

"We thought we'd be getting some belongings from inside, like clothes, but it was all damaged and soaked."

Mansour and his brother Yasar were forced to leave their main floor suite without ID, wallets and car keys.

But beyond some documents kept in a safe, there was little else to salvage, he said.

"We were surprised with the damage we saw. Very sad to see."

The pair had just completed upgrading the suite two weeks ago, Mansour said.

"I was very happy that I finished it. I took some pictures for my friends, 'Look at we've done,'" he said.

The brothers will now be looking for a place to live for about a year and a half.


Clareview condo owners to begin returning home Monday after massive blaze

Global News
24 May 2015

Global News

Residents who were forced out of their homes Friday when a massive fire took over a northeast Edmonton condo building will be allowed to begin returning home Monday.

Residents will be allowed inside to assess the damage in two stages:

Those who live in units north of the firewall will be allowed to return home on Monday.
The south side of the building will be opened Wednesday from the third floor down.
Half-hour windows will be scheduled for condo owners to go inside to view their suites. Move-out dates will be scheduled for later dates with building security, as fire crews have determined the building will be a total loss.

Global News

“They’re considering this right now more or less a complete fire loss,” Captain Kevin Bureau with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services said Saturday.

“It’s going to be stripped down to the bare studs. The top floor is going to be isolated and they’re going to be rebuilding because there’s extensive water and smoke damage throughout the entire building, and then not to mention the fire damage on the fourth floor.”

KDM Management has hired 24-hour security to prevent looting. Updates for residents will be posted on the company’s website.


Mission condo fire caused by discarded cigarette, says Calgary Fire Department
CBC News—Calgary
Residents will be out for several days after 4 units are destroyed
26 May 2015

A burning cigarette dropped into a planter pot on a balcony was the cause of a major fire at a condo complex in the southwest Calgary community of Mission early Tuesday morning, says the Calgary Fire Department.

Crews were able to bring the fire quickly under control after being called to Riverview Place in the 2200 block of First Street S.W. at 5:15 a.m. MT

While preventing the blaze from engulfing the entire 66-unit building, four suites were destroyed and others were damaged by smoke and water.

One person suffered minor burns, fire officials said in a release.

Resident Andrea Wilkie said it was a surreal experience.

Condo also hit by 2013 flood
"Everyone's really distraught. Everyone was just getting their lives back together after the flood. Our building was hit pretty hard," she said.

Wilkie says she finally moved back into her flood-damaged apartment just two months ago.

Stephanie Cormier woke up to the fire alarm at around 5:30 a.m. She says she was surprised at how quickly the fire grew.

"You always think about these things happening and to actually go through it you realize how unprepared you are," she said. "Which puts a lot of things in perspective."

Residents will be out for several days while utilities and other systems in the building are checked. The Calgary Emergency Management Agency is currently providing assistance.


Condo fire causes $16.3 million in damage

REMI Network
01 June 2015

Edmonton Fire Chief Ken Block cautioned citizens about the increasing risk of smoking materials on balconies of large wood-framed, combustible buildings after a condo fire caused $16.3-million in damage. Chief Block said in a press release that the blaze — the city’s second in less than a year caused by improperly disposed of smoking material — was “completely preventable.”

“I am calling on Edmontonians to take responsibility for their actions related to fire use and to exercise good fire prevention practices at all times,” he said.

Edmonton Fire Rescue flagged the greater risks posed to the public and property by large condo building fires. Vigilant fire safety practices include proper barbecue maintenance and safe disposal of smoking materials.


Calgary condo building hit by fire two years after floods

CBC News—Calgary
Residents considering smoking ban after latest incident
03 June 2015

First floods, now fires. It has been a bad couple of years for the residents of one Calgary condo building.

Last week, the residents of the Riverview Place Condo in Mission were forced from their homes because of a fire.

Patty Bambrick has lived through both the floods and the fire. She says many of her neighbours are struggling.

"It's those in the building, including tenants, who don't have insurance — some of the owners didn't have insurance — those are the people that are really suffering some challenges right now," said Bambrick.

Bambrick sits on the board of the condo and says a ban on smoking is under consideration.

"We have owners that are smokers and we would have to look at some kind of grandfathering guideline for those people," she said. "But we are going to continue to discuss it and see if possibly we'll add a bylaw that tenants are not allowed to smoke."

She says none of the residents have been able to return to their units yet, but they are hopeful of getting those whose suites were least damaged back into the building as soon as possible.

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