A Hay River house is a probable a write-off after barbecue-caused fire consumed it Friday.
The spectacular blaze broke out at about suppertime in a single-unit residence on John Mapes Crescent.
No one was injured.
The one-storey house with a basement was home to a couple and their four children.
The Hay River Fire Department battled the blaze for about an hour before getting it under control.
Speaking the day after the incident, Fire Chief Ross Potter said it is believed that the house is a total loss, estimating the value of the building to be in the $350,000 range.
Potter explained the fire was caused by a propane barbecue at the back of the house.
“A barbecue overheated and started the fire against the siding on the house,” he said.
Potter noted the homeowner had just cleaned the barbecue, and it appears some grease may have still been on the tray.
“He was actually done barbecuing and was letting it cool down, but the tray caught fire, which in turn probably burned the propane line off the tank or something along those lines which sent the fire straight up the side of the house,” the fire chief said. “It would happen very, very fast.”
Potter noted the family tried to put out the fire themselves, but weren’t able to contain it.
“They made every effort they possibly could to put the fire out,” he said. “It just got carried away too fast for them.”
The house next door and its garage were also visibly damaged. There was melted siding on the exterior walls closest to the fire.
Potter noted a firefighter responded directly to the scene and got the residents out of the house next door fairly quickly.
“The exposure is always a major concern of ours,” he said. “We started protecting the side of the house right away.”
Potter cautioned all homeowners to take care when using barbecues.
“Make sure they’re properly cleaned and vacuumed out,” he said. “And don’t set them up close to your house, especially if you’ve got plastic siding.”