Calgary

$2M fire began in planter on back deck

A huge blaze that destroyed three northwest Calgary houses and badly damaged several more on Sunday started in a planter on a rear deck, fire officials say.

A huge fire that destroyed three northwest Calgary houses and badly damaged several more on Sunday started in a planter on a rear deck, fire officials say.

The mid-afternoon blaze at the 100 block of Citadel Acres Close N.W. was quickly spread by high winds.

Investigators found evidence of peat moss in the planter, but there was no sign of what sparked the fire, officials said on Wednesday.

No one was hurt in the fire. Damage has so far been estimated at $2 million, officials said.

The fire department issued a reminder for homeowners to take precautions when using peat moss in their gardens. When it's mixed with dried organic debris, it becomes a potential fuel for fire, officials said.

Once ignited, peat moss can smoulder undetected for up to 15 hours.

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