After being called to a residential fire on Mother's Day, the WFPS is offering tips to the public on how to prevent barbecue fires and injuries.

At 6:36 p.m. on Sunday, May 14, 2023, the WFPS responded to reports of an explosion and fire at a two-storey house on Arden Avenue.

When crews arrived on the scene they found heavy smoke and flames on the deck at the rear of the house. Crews quickly extinguished the fire before it spread to the house.

Occupants of the house safely self-evacuated. No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire is believed to be accidental, originating with the barbecue and propane tank.

Barbecue fires and injuries can be prevented by following these tips:

  • Always light the barbecue with the spark ignitor button or a proper barbecue lighter while the lid is open. If you turn on the gas with the lid closed, the gas can start building up inside and lead to a fire.
  • Do not hold a cigarette lighter or match over the grill when the gas or propane is on. Doing so can cause a burst of flames resulting in burns to your hands.
  • Regularly check all connections on your barbeque to ensure they’re tight and there are no leaks in the hose where gas can escape. This can be done by applying a mixture of soap and water to all connections, hoses, and also to the gas cylinder head. If there is a leak bubbles will start to form or grow rapidly. This can be remedied by tightening the connections or replacing the defective parts with a trained professional.
  • As with all types of cooking, you never want to leave your grill unattended. Make sure to keep children and pets far away.
  • If you need to get a propane refill, make sure to keep your tank upright while transporting it and plan to go directly to the refill station and back home. The tank should have a safety plug and never be left in a closed compartment. It’s also a good idea to keep a window open while driving.
  • Barbecues of any size should never be used indoors or in an enclosed space because they produce carbon monoxide, which can be deadly. Only use your barbecue outside in a well-ventilated area, away from any structures, deck railings, fences, overhanging trees, awnings, or eaves troughs.

The WFPS also fought a fire early this morning at 1:13 a.m. in a vacant, one-and-a-half-storey house in the 1500 block of Logan Avenue.

When crews arrived at the location, they found smoke coming from the house. They fought the fire from inside the house, declaring it under control at 1:32 a.m.

Crews completed a search of the structure and no occupants were found. No injuries were reported.

The fire remains under investigation. Damage estimates are not available at this time.