Two garage fires in one night in St. Catharines

St. Catharines Fire Department CrestFire Chief Dave Wood urges residents to be fire safe in sheds, garages and other buildings on their property as well as their homes after two fires in one night.

“A lot of us take great care in making our homes fire safe but tend to be a little more relaxed in our sheds and garages,” Chief Wood said following the city’s ninth and 10th fires of 2017 on Tuesday, Feb. 14. “The problem is a fire can start in the garage and spread quickly to your home, even if it’s not attached, if you are not careful.”

Firefighters were called to 386 Read Rd. on Feb. 14 around 11 p.m. for a cooking fire that started in the garage on the property. On arrival, firefighters found flames had engulfed the garage and were starting to spread towards the home and nearby chicken coop.

They quickly doused the fire, limiting damage to the garage, and the exterior siding of the home and chicken coop.

All occupants escaped the home during the fire and no injuries were reported. Firefighters also saved the livestock. Estimated damage is unknown due to the value of the contents inside the garage.

“When you are cooking, whether it’s in your kitchen, over an outdoor fire, or out in your shed, you have to do it safely and with the appropriate appliances,” said the fire chief. “Never leave your cooking unattended.”

Firefighters responded to another garage fire at 11 Shelley Ave. at 8:25 p.m. Tuesday night. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire before it could spread.

Damage is estimated at $100,000. No injuries were reported. The cause is still under investigation.

The fire chief said residents should be on the lookout for hazards in their sheds and garages, adding a common cause for these types of fires tends to be electrical issues caused by damaged wires, overloading outlets or using extension cords to power appliances instead of using a proper outlet. Residents should keep clutter in garages to
a minimum, store flammable substances in appropriate containers and keep anything that can burn away from heaters and other appliances. Cigarettes, matches and other smoking materials should be extinguished in ash trays or appropriate containers.

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Source – City of St. Catharines press release