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Most probable sources of January apartment fire deemed accidental

Considerable smoke poured out from the Parkland Place apartment fire. - Don Bodger/file
Considerable smoke poured out from the Parkland Place apartment fire.
— image credit: Don Bodger/file

The specific cause of the massive January fire at the Parkland Place apartment building in Duncan remains undetermined.

"The most probable ignition sources were deemed accidental, either cigarettes or an electric heater that may have been affected by an animal,'' indicated David Hewetson, the City of Duncan's building inspector and local assistant fire commissioner.

The fire started in a third-floor unit at the south end of the four-story complex and displaced more than 100 people from their homes for a few days. A few in the most heavily-damaged units were out longer.

Hewetson pointed out the initial site investigation took about a week, with follow-up interviews taking a further two weeks.

"The investigation indicated the area of origin and fire spread pattern,'' he noted. "The fire started within the suite.''

It quickly spread to units above and beside it but was contained to a few suites.

"The building is divided by firewalls into five sections,'' explained Hewetson. "The suite of origin was significantly damaged by fire and the two suites directly above had more minor fire damage as a result of exterior fire spread.

"There was water damage in a further eight suites ranging in severity. Smoke damage was limited to the south section, principally in the top two floors.

"The fire was contained to the suite of origin and the only fire spread to other suites was through the exterior balconies. This means the interior suite fire separations performed as they were intended. The smoke detector within the suite was operational and the heat detectors caused the fire alarm to sound.''

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