By Herald on August 18, 2020.
Two homes were destroyed and a third suffered major damage in a fire on Lethbridge’s southside Tuesday afternoon.
Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services were called to the scene of a multi-residential structure fire on the 400 block of Fairmont Boulevard South.
A call came into 911 at approximately 2:25 p.m. with firefighters responding from all four stations.
When crews arrived, one home was fully engulfed in flames and the fire was spreading to the neighbouring homes.
There were no injuries in the blaze, which was fanned by gusting winds.
Three mess units, one ladder truck from Lethbridge and a second ladder truck from Coaldale were called in to battle the blaze, said Ron Lamane, platoon chief with Lethbridge Fire and EMS.
A rescue van, four pumpers and a total of 30 men were on the scene in the 30-plus degree weather.
Mark Beda was at home watching afternoon playoff hockey when the fire broke out.
“I was going to make a coffee and I heard this big ‘boom’,” said Beda. “I looked out the window and the garage and the suburban were on fire. Within about five minutes it was just crazy.
“I phoned the fire department and a whole bunch of other people had. The family got out. Everybody is out, the dog is out and they’re at my neighbour’s place, and then I saw the second house go up. The fire department set up their hoses and just started giving ’er.”
Beda described the family in the house on the corner that was destroyed.
“Nice family, four kids and a wife and husband and a dog.”
Hot, windy weather created additional challenges for firefighters, as did the location of the fire hydrants.
“It took them a while because, unfortunately, there’s no fire hydrant where the fire is,” said Beda. “So it took them some time to set up, I’m sure it’s complicated.”
“It was pretty hot,” added Lamane. “It was a tough fire when we first got here. The hydrants, we couldn’t find them and the traffic was unbelievable.”
An EMS crew monitored the firefighters as they battled the blaze in already hot weather.
“They were working so hard I could see they were red-faced,” said Lamane. “But we have a rehab EMS, so they take their vitals. Some were a little elevated, so we put them to the side and used anybody else we could.”
The firefighters also took turns getting hosed down.
“It’s part of cooling down, but it’s also to get all the contaminants off them,” said Lamane. “It causes cancer, so we try to get most of the stuff off the suits.”
Investigators are expected to be on the scene of the fire this morning.
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