Five people were assisted by the Canadian Red Cross after their home was severely damaged by fire in Red Deer on Monday.
No one was injured in the fire at 2 McCullough Cres. that may have been caused by improperly disposed of smoking material, according to Red Deer Emergency Services.
Two adults and three children lived in the bungalow, which was occupied by the owner as well as someone living in a suite in the house. The residents were home at the time of the fire but escaped uninjured.
The fire occurred in late afternoon in the residential neighbourhood of Morrisroe.
City of Red Deer fire inspector Barry Wulff said on Tuesday that the fire started on the exterior of the house near the front door, then migrated to the attic, causing substantial damage to that part of the house.
Once the fire was out, fire crews removed all the blown-in attic insulation to prevent any rekindling, he said.
“The cause is undetermined, however, due to the fire patterns and interviews with people, it started on the exterior of the building and we cannot rule out the careless disposal of smoking materials.”
The roof’s trust system was heavily damaged and will have to be replaced, he said, adding that the gypsum ceiling held out quite well except for one of the bedrooms where it did drop down.
With the arrival of spring time, things are dry, like shrubbery on the outside of houses, Wulff said.
“We want to try and get across it’s a dry time of year. … Smokers have to properly discard smoking materials.”
Wulff encourages city residents to check out their yards and clean up dry branches and debris.
The Red Cross provides food, shelter, clothing and additional services for 72 hours as needed to people affected by personal disaster.
All Canadian Red Cross support is provided at no charge to those in need.
To donate to the Red Cross, call 1-800-418-1111 or go online to www.redcross.ca.