Lethbridge fire officials say the improper disposal of a cigarette was the cause behind a Thursday afternoon fire at the Winston Villa apartment complex.
Six units of the three-storey structure have suffered “major heat, smoke and flame damage,” said Fire Prevention Officer Adam Saturley.
“Once again we’re dealing with another structure where… in the last two months we’ve had four structures that have had damage resulting from the exact same cause. We’re concerned about that highly.”
All 46 residents were safely evacuated before flames tore through several units. The fire began outside on the west end of the building, and it took only about eight minutes for the flames to spread, engulfing the outside of the building.
“That’s not very long,” said Saturley. “And when you’ve got winds in this area, it just becomes very dangerous.”
There’s no word yet on the total damage estimate, but Saturley believes it will be high.
Investigators said a neighbour saw smoke and flames coming from a window and called 911 at about 12:18 p.m. on Thursday. A total of 21 firefighters from three stations responded.
One person was taken to hospital with injuries related to smoke inhalation.
Drivers warned to watch out
Every day, they travel the equivalent of 10 times around the world. And Alberta’s school buses will be back on the road next week.
So the province’s school and government officials are reminding motorists to drive cautiously when they see children and their buses back on streets and highways.
“Heading back to school is an exciting time for kids,” points out Brian Mason, the province’s transportation minister. “Parents and educators should talk to them about road safety so they understand their role in safely getting to school and home at the end of the day.”
But drivers must also remember to put on the brakes when they see children or buses heading to school. One of the most common accidents, officials say, is rear-end collisions with school buses.
Flashing amber lights means the bus is slowing down for a stop, they point out. Flashing red lights mean traffic in both directions must stop. The penalty for failing to stop is six demerits and a $543 fine.
Spray parks staying open longer because of warm weather
Thanks to an unseasonably warm long-term forecast, the Gyro Spray Park, located behind Nicholas Sheran Arena, and the Rotary Fountain in Galt Gardens will remain open until Sept. 12.
The spray parks, which were slated to close Tuesday, offer free family fun for all residents and are a great way to beat the summer heat. They will continue to operate with their regular hours of 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Gyro and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Rotary Fountain.
For more information on the spray parks as well as the outdoor and indoor pools in Lethbridge, visit http://www.lethbridge.ca/pools.
New cell tower approved
Lethbridge City Council has approved a lease with Rogers Communication for a new cell tower to be located in a westside cemetery.
The new cell tower will be built in a maintenance area at Mountain View Cemetery.
Rogers recently announced expanded LTE wireless service in Lethbridge, including a new cell tower on the westside that provides service for the ATB Centre.
Cell tower locations are approved by Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, not by local municipalities. However, if the city owns the land it can impose conditions on the development of the cell tower through the lease agreement.
ISEDC requires a portion of the neighbourhood to be notified. In this case there were no objections received.
The lease term is for five years at a rate of $18,000 per year. The agreement includes three renewal terms of five years each with a rate increase of 10 per cent per term.