A spate of fires in Winnipeg on Tuesday kept crews running and left behind burned garages, homes and fences.

The largest of the blazes, at 296 Furby Street, also left three people homeless.

That one broke out just after 4 a.m. CT in a rooming house.

Geoff Butler, who lived in the West End residence, said he woke up to banging and shouts of "fire" and scrambled to get out.

"I ran out to the living room and I could see a wall of orange flames on the other side of the window. I could hear the crackling and then I could smell it [and] I realized I had seconds," he said.

"So I grabbed the phone to dial 911 [but] the dial tone was gone. And then I ran over to get my coat and shoes and get out the door."

Dave Singleton, an investigator with the Fire Commissioner's Office, said the fire was caused by someone butting out a cigarette in a dry potted plant.

It's the same way a fire started Monday, destroying a house in the Fort Whyte neighbourhood, he noted.

He said the peat mixture used in plants is quick to burn and smokers need to use ashtrays or a tin can with water on the bottom to safely put out their cigarettes.

"With the lower humidity levels and the lack of rain, the peat moss is at a very dry state so it does ignite that much easier," Singleton said.

Damage from the Furby Street fire is estimated at $150,000.

3 blazes on Magnus Avenue

A few hours earlier, just after 3 a.m. on Tuesday, crews were called to three blazes on Magnus Avenue in the city's North End.

A garbage fire spread to the rear of a house in the 300 block of Magnus, then just moments later another call came in for a garage fire on the same block.

And almost immediately after that, there was yet another garage fire on the same block.

Not far from that, at about 6 a.m., crews were called to extinguish a fence fire at the rear of a home on the 600 block of Burrows Avenue.

There were no reports on any injuries from the fires.