Smithers firefighters contain a house fire and protect neighbouring homes from damage.

Gas fireplace plays role in Smithers house fire

Smithers fire chief Keith Stecko said the attic above a turned off gas fireplace was the source of a blaze that destroyed a home Tuesday.

Five Smithers Fire Department trucks and 27 firefighters took on a mid-morning blaze last Tuesday which claimed a home on Bulkley Drive in Smithers.

Their three-hour effort saved neighbouring properties from being damaged. Nobody was in the home at the time, and passers-by were able to rescue two dogs from the house before the fire spread too much.

Smithers fire chief Keith Stecko said the cause of the fire is likely related to the gas fireplace in the home.

“The fire started in the attic space in the roof structure of the home, and we know that the occupants had the gas fireplace on that morning and had turned it off before they left,” explained Stecko, who arrived on scene shortly after 9:30 a.m.

“That very spot is where the fire was originating from when we arrived on scene. We believe that is where the fire started.”

He said why a turned off fireplace would ignite is something that could be tested by an agency like CSA (Canadian Standards Association).

“To find out if it was in fact a mechanical failure or was it just heat through conduction, convection, that sort of thing. That’s yet to be determined. But in terms of cause for the investigation, that’s where the fire started for us,” said Stecko.