Firefighters respond to blaze on 210th Street Tuesday in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS – files)

No one hurt in Tuesday house fire in Maple Ridge

Home unoccupied at the time.

There’s no apparent cause of a fire that resulted in the closing of 210th Street for a few hours Tuesday, near 119th Avenue.

Firefighters got to the house, from which smoke was billowing, just before 8 a.m. They continued their investigation there the rest of the day and partly Wednesday, but no cause has yet been determined.

Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue Services chief Howard Exner said that the physical investigation of the scene has now concluded.

One person had been staying in the home, but wasn’t there at the time of the fire, Exner said.

There were no animals inside either.

“There was nobody home at the time of the fire,” Exner said.

The house was under renovation, but that’s not an avenue they’re exploring as a possible cause, he added.

Exner also warned about Christmas fire hazards, reminding people not over-string their Christmas lights or electrical cords and to ensure that natural Christmas trees are kept well watered, “so that everybody has a safe and enjoyable Christmas.”

Exner said people should follow the instructions that are provided on Christmas lights about the maximum number of strings of lights that can be connected together.

The same goes for extension cords, which are not to be plugged into each other. “You shouldn’t be plugging one extension cord into another extension cord …” That includes using power bars, Exner added.

Strings of old Christmas lights should be examined carefully to ensure they’re safe to use, he added. As well, wall outlets should not be overloaded.

And don’t burn Christmas wrapping paper in chimneys. The tissue paper burns hot and fast and can cause chimney fires. “We’ve had lots of house fires or chimney fires as a result of that as the years have gone by,” Exner said.

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