Two accidental apartment fires -- caused by unattended cooking -- kept Winnipeg firefighters busy Friday night.

The fires took place on Maryland Street and Pembina Highway within an hour of each other.

Just after 8 p.m. on Apr. 2, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service (WFPS) responded to an alarm in a three-storey apartment building on Maryland Street near Ellice Avenue.

Crews found smoke in the building upon arrival and launched an offensive attack to control the fire. It was quickly controlled and contained to its original suite.

WFPS temporarily evacuated all occupants of the building and all occupants were able to return after the building had been ventilated, with the exception of the occupant of the suite where the fire began.

Shortly after 9:16 p.m., crews responded to reports of smoke in an eight-storey apartment building on Pembina Hwy, near the Canad Inns.

Crews determined smoke was coming from a kitchen fire in a suite and after an offensive attack, a fire was declared under control at 9:50 p.m.

The fire damage was contained to a single suite.

The occupants of the building were temporarily evacuated and the majority were able to return to their suites once the fire was extinguished.

No injuries were reported as a result of either blaze and both were believed to be accidental.

WFPS is reminding residents to follow these safety strategies to prevent kitchen fires:

  • Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. Stove burners should always be turned off when leaving the kitchen, even for a short time.
  • Anything that can catch fire — oven mitts, wooden utensils, food packaging, towels, or curtains — should always be kept away from the stovetop.
  • Oil should always be heated slowly. If cooking oil catches fire and the fire is small and manageable, use a kitchen fire extinguisher or cover the pot with a metal lid. Never use water to put out an oil fire.