The City of Winnipeg is reminding residents to use caution when plugging in vehicles.

On Tuesday morning, fire crews were called to the 0-100 block of Athlone Drive. When they arrived at 10:08 a.m. at the single-story home, they encountered high smokestacks seeping out of the house.

Occupants of the house had already evacuated before crews arrived. The city says crews launched into an offensive attack, declaring it under control at 10:46 a.m.

No one was injured.

The cause of the fire is accidental. It is related to a vehicle’s block heater being plugged into an outlet with an extension cord.

If plugging in block heaters, the city asks residents to:

  • Check your block heater and extension cords for frays, cracks or damage before you plug in your vehicle. If the extension cord or block heater cord is damaged, replace it as soon as possible.
  • Avoid backing up with the cord still plugged in, which can damage the plug.
  • Do not plug in your vehicle inside a garage or sheltered building, as a fire can start in the garage and quickly spread to other structures or your home, causing damage and putting people in danger.