By Lethbridge Herald on March 1, 2021.
A Sunday house fire has been deemed “suspicious” by the Lethbridge Fire Prevention Office, and the Lethbridge Police Service will now be taking over the investigation.
Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services responded to a residential fire in the area of 16 Street and 2 Avenue North at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
Twenty-four firefighters from four stations arrived and found a single family residence involved in fire.
According to investigator Troy Hicks from the Fire Prevention Office, the fire appears to have started in a temporary storage structure set up near the northwest corner of the home.
“It appears through witness statements, and we also have a video from a neighbour, the fire appears to have started on the northwest corner of the house,” he confirms. “In talking to the homeowner, she informed us there was a fabric shed at that corner. That’s what appears to have burnt down.”
Hicks said because the fire started outside the home in this temporary structure it is deemed suspicious, and the LPS will now determine whether or not it is criminal in nature.
“It is definitely a suspicious fire,” he states. “We were able to find the area of origin; however the actual cause, what ignited the fire, after digging through everything we were not able to find something. Now that has been deemed suspicious the LPS will be looking into it too. They took a couple of items as evidence.”
Hicks says he cannot speculate as to whether or not the fire was intentionally started at this time as the cause is yet to be determined.
Hicks does confirm no one was injured in the blaze, which caused minor damage mainly to the exteriors of both the primary residence and the neighbouring house. The blaze spread quickly from the shed to both homes before firefighters arrived on the scene before ultimately being contained and extinguished.
“High winds obviously didn’t help,” says Hicks. “The fire spread to the property, and also (caused) minimal damage to the neighbouring house as well.”
The damage to both homes may be as much as $185,000, according to the press release on the fire issued by the City of Lethbridge on Monday. The residents of the property where the fire started were a woman and her adult son. Hicks confirms the property has now been turned back over to the owner.
“The property has been turned back over to the homeowner, and she has contacted her insurance,” he says. “And she is in the process of getting everything sorted out.”
— With files by Ian Martens
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