Fire crews battled a house fire, as well as the elements, in Canmore Monday night but their effort to help the family that had lived in the building continues well after the blaze was extinguished.
Fire Chief Walter Gahler says Canmore Fire Rescue responded to the 300 block of Spring Creek Gate shortly after 8:30 p.m. following reports of a fire.
Crews encountered a home fully engulfed in flames and additional resources were deployed.
The homeowner, the lone occupant of the building at the time of the fire, had suffered minor injuries and was transported to the Canmore hospital for treatment where he spent the night.
The 14 firefighters faced extreme cold with a wind chill below -40, reduced visibility, frozen equipment and slick conditions during the response.
The fire was extinguished before it could spread to neighbouring homes but the damage to the house was extensive.
Very proud of our @CanmoreFireRes team tonight. Tough conditions; handled with strength and poise. Our thoughts and support goes out to the affected family. And a big thanks to our first response partners @RCMPAlberta @ahs_ems @ATCOGas pic.twitter.com/jlXALBHHaS— Walter Gahler (@CanmoreFrChief) January 14, 2020
According to Gahler, a preliminary investigation suggests the fire was accidentally set and the result of an attempt to thaw frozen plumbing.
The fire has displaced a family of four, including a 10-year-old girl and her five-year-old brother. Town of Canmore family services and RCMP victim services are assisting the family and have arranged temporary accommodations.
The International Association of Fire Fighter Union Local 4705 has issued a plea to the community to help the family.
A local family lost everything in a structure fire last night. If anybody in Canmore has a cell phone they can spare, and warm clothes & toys for a 5yo & 10yo, please contact or drop off at Canmore Legion.
PS: 5yo likes unicorns��!!
~Your IAFF Local 4705 Firefighters
Gahler says the family would benefit from clothing donations (size 10 for the daughter and size 4T for the son) as well as toys, including unicorns, fire trucks, trucks and helicopters.
The Canmore Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #3 - Three Sisters, is located at 834 Seventh Street.