A fire at a Regina apartment on Aug 11 has displaced 32 families.
The fire on Hanbidge Crescent, just off Sherwood Drive in the northwest end of the city, started last Saturday night, just before midnight.
“Upon first trucks arrival, it was evident that we had major fire showing through the roof of pretty much three-quarters of the building,” said Regina Fire Marshal Randy Ryba.
It took firefighters most of the night to extinguish the blaze with seven fire trucks taking part.
“All the residents evacuated safely, which is certainly good news,” said Ryba.
The investigation into the blaze got underway shortly after the fire was put out.
“I accompanied the senior inspector on scene. We spent a lot of time checking for scene safety as well as getting a few of the small items out for the tenants as we could,” Ryba explained.
The investigation took about a day and a half. Ryba was accompanied by a SaskPower electrical inspector and gas inspector and they determined the fire started in the attic above a service room on the top floor.
“Given that, upon review of the immediate area, we observed an electrical junction box was the most damaged area of origin with multiple conductors leaving the box. Upon further assessment we have determined that resistance heating or arching, adjacent to that box, ignite the structural members of the roof system,” Ryba said.
Ryba reiterated that the cause wasn’t electrical, “There’s a number of different things that could cause this damage or cause an electrical conductor to produce heat or arching. One of those is mechanical failure.”
One example Ryba gave was if someone was stepping on the conduit in their normal duties throughout the day, working in the area for weeks or months, or improper installation and expansion/contraction of the conduits given the weather conditions.
The damage to the building is extensive, even though the building is still standing. The heavy damage is due to applying water and tearing down ceiling tiles.
Ryba expects the building to be uninhabitable for many months.
Tenants affected by the fire will get some help from the Red Cross, which will provide food, clothing and accommodation.
And a Go Fund Me page is set up to help residents affected by the blaze.