Block heater to blame for accidental house fire, Winnipeg firefighters say

Winnipeg firefighters say the first of two structure fires crews tackled on Wednesday night was accidentally caused by a plugged-in block heater.

A bungalow on Kingsbridge Court and its attached garage became engulfed in flames, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) said. Once firefighters arrived on the scene just after 8:30 p.m., they were able get the blaze under control and keep neighbouring houses — which were evacuated as a precaution — safe within less than an hour.

No one was injured in the incident, and the WFPS says Winnipeggers should avoid plugging in vehicles inside a garage — attached or detached — as a fire can start quickly and spread to other buildings, including your home.

Drivers are also cautioned to check for frays, cracks or damage to their block heaters and extension cords, and not to overload them or allow them to run through snow or water on the ground.

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Half an hour after the flames were extinguished on Kingsbridge Court, firefighters were called to a vacant two-and-a-half-storey house on Flora Avenue.

The same building was previously damaged in an earlier fire this past June.

No injuries were reported, and crews search the building and didn’t find anyone. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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