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A home south of High Level was destroyed in a fire on Tuesday afternoon.
The High Level Fire Department responded to a report of a structure fire south of High Level just before 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 30.
Upon arrival, crews were met with a fire emanating from a garage which was quickly spreading to the home. The first crew arrived within six minutes of the call, with the first engine arriving 11 minutes after the call. By that time, the fire was well involved in the home.
Fire crews started a defensive firefighting operation involving large diameter hoses and battling the blaze from the outside of the home. Unfortunately, they were unable to save the home and it was a total loss.
One person was treated for smoke at the scene and released. There were no other reported injuries.
Structural fire crews are challenged in areas where there is not ready access to water, and must rely on the assistance of neighbour fire departments and private water haulers. An additional water tender was supplied by the Fort Vermilion Fire Department, which arrived within an hour to provide assistance. Eleven local fire fighters responded to the call.
Crews were on scene until about 8:30 p.m.
The fire was deemed to be accidental in nature, and was caused by a fuel ignition on an off-highway vehicle which was being serviced in the garage. In spite of efforts to put the fire out, it spread quickly and was soon burning out of control.
“It was really unfortunate,” said Rodney Schmidt, Director of Protective Services and High Level Fire Chief. “The fire spread really quickly, and there wasn’t much we could do in terms of saving the contents of the home. It is always difficult for our fire fighters to watch a family go through that. We spent a lot of time talking to the family while the fight was going on. It was an unfortunate day, for sure.”