July 24th, 2024

Fire burns three homes on westside; no injuries reported


By Lethbridge Herald on December 27, 2023.

Multiple fire crews respond to the scene where fire burned three homes Tuesday afternoon on the city’s westside. Herald photos by Al Beeber

Al Beeber – LETHBRIDGE HERALD – abeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Three homes erupted into flames in a westside neighbourhood on a windy Boxing Day afternoon.

The fire at Iroquois Crescent, a couple of blocks south of Father Leonard Van Tighem school and just west of University Drive, had multiple fire crews working in front – and behind – the homes.

One in the middle was burned to nearly the ground as fire crews on the ground and with a ladder truck fought flames on other houses. One had flames visibly shooting from the roof as fire crews worked in the wind to contain the blaze.

Police on Tuesday afternoon directed the public to stay away from the area but throngs of people showed up behind yellow tape, watching and recording the scene unfold with their phone cameras.

One neighbour, who lives two houses south of the blaze, told The Herald is family removed everything they could from their home as a precaution out of fear the fires would spread.

A release from the City of Lethbridge later on Tuesday said Lethbridge Fire and Emergency Services provided a five station response with 30 fire fighters and 11 fire apparatus on scene.

The first arriving crews found one house fully engulfed in flames which, due to high winds, quickly spread to the neighbouring homes on either side.

Fire crews were able to stop the fire from jumping to a fourth house and to the houses across the street.  The release states that the three homes sustained significant damage, with combined loss estimated at $2,000,000.

Fortunately, the families from all three houses were safe with no reported injuries to the occupants or the fire fighters at the scene.

One of the burned houses was a group home for six teenaged youth.  They all got out safely and a manager on scene said they were being temporarily housed elsewhere.

Neighbour Asha Livingstone said she smelled smoke before seeing  the blaze. She said it seemed to start quickly, her husband John adding he understood it began at the back of the middle home which sustained the most damage.

A member of the Lethbridge Kinsmen, Livingstone said he will be making a case for his club to help out the residents of the affected homes in any way they can, such as replacing lost Christmas presents and personal belongings of the kids in the group home. 

The City says Victim Services team members from Lethbridge Police Service and the Red Cross were called in to provide care to the families affected by the fire.

The cause and origin of the fire has not yet been determined as the fire is still under investigation.

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