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Serious blaze destroys house west of Sundre

A rural home was destroyed by fire Sunday. When firefighters arrived the homeowner was trying to prevent it from spreading into nearby trees.
MVT-structure fire
Although nobody was hurt on the afternoon of Sunday, March 27 when the Sundre Fire Department responded to a serious structure fire west of town along the Coal Camp Road, a small pet dog is believed to have perished after being unable to get out. The response involved mutual aid assistance from the Cremona and Olds fire departments, with crews successfully preventing the blaze from spreading into a nearby treeline. However, the structure was a total write-off. Submitted photo

SUNDRE — A fully-engulfed house west of town couldn’t be saved on Sunday, March 27, but fire crews were nevertheless successful in stopping the raging inferno from spreading into a nearby treeline.

Members of the Sundre Fire Department initially responded to the call that came in at 2:44 p.m., said Chief Ross Clews, adding the fire occurred on a rural property west of Sundre, out along Coal Camp Road.

The structure was completely involved when responders arrived at the scene, where the owner was already scrambling to prevent the flames from reaching the adjacent wooded area, said Clews.

“The landowner was working on it when we got there,” he said. “He was trying to get the grass fire out before it got into the bush, so we gave him a hand with that.”

The fire that spread from the structure charred a 100 metre-by-50-metre patch of grass around the house, he said.

“It lit the grass on fire, and then started to go heading toward the trees,” he said. “We were able to snuff it out.”

Crews doused the house as well, but there was nothing salvageable, he said.

“It was a complete write-off.”

Sundre’s fire chief praised the response of mutual aid partners that provided critical assistance in bringing the perilous situation under control before it could get even worse.

The local department dispatched a pumper alongside a tender, as did the Olds Fire Department, while Cremona deployed an additional tender for more water supply upon request, he said.

“We want to thank them very much,” he said. “It was a lot of hard work.”

Although the owner, and at the time sole occupant of the house was unharmed, a small pet dog is believed to have perished in the fire after being unable to get out, he said.

“There was one person there, and he told me everybody was out except for his dog,” the chief said, doubtful about the pet’s chances of survival. “It didn’t make it.” 

Meanwhile, the flames consumed everything else and burned the structure to the ground.

“He lost everything in the house,” he said.

When Clews spoke with the Albertan yesterday morning before press deadline, the cause of the fire was not yet identified.

“At this time, the cause is undetermined,” he said. “It started on the exterior deck on the south side, according to the owner. He can’t even figure out anything out there that he would have had that would have started it.”

The owner contacted his insurance company while the chief was on the scene, and arrangements were made to have a security detail contain the area.

“The insurance company will arrange for a third-party investigator to determine cause and origin,” said Clews.

The chief did not anticipate further information about the incident to be released by the Sundre Fire Department. 

Simon Ducatel

About the Author: Simon Ducatel

Simon Ducatel joined Mountain View Publishing in 2015 after working for the Vulcan Advocate since 2007, and graduated among the top of his class from the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology's journalism program in 2006.
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