Flames from a blaze believed to be deliberately set lit up a Mill Woods neighbourhood early Thursday morning, the calling card of arsonists who targeted a home while the residents were away.
Fire crews were called to the home at 1843 — 45 S. by a neighbour who spotted smoke and flames just after 3 a.m.
Sub-zero temperatures made fighting the inferno extremely difficult for fire crews, according to fire officials. Electronic equipment continually malfunctioned, while hoses and oxygen tanks froze after a short time in the cold.
It took crews three hours to extinguish the blaze.
“We saw it around 4 a.m., the lights of the trucks, and the blazing fire woke us up,” said Melanie Alarie, who lives across the street. “I could see the flames coming from the roof — we recorded a bit of it on our video camera.”
Although the exact location of where the blaze started has not been pinpointed, investigators believe it was set in two locations inside the home.
“It has been confirmed and released as arson,” Edmonton Fire Rescue spokeswoman Melanie Mochizuki said.
Though it’s believed the fire was the work of arsonists, police officials do not believe it is related to any of the Molotov cocktail attacks that plagued the area last year.
A car in the driveway of the home appeared to have had all its windows smashed; the damages did not appear to be a direct result of the fire.
Damages on the two-storey home are pegged at around $650,000.