House destroyed in Canyon Creek fire: nobody hurt

Also a fire at the town offices

Leader staff

A home in Canyon Creek was pretty much destroyed by fire on the morning of Jan. 26. Located on Courtorielle Rd., the home was not occupied at the time, says regional fire chief Alex Pavcek.

Units from four different fire halls responded, after a passing driver reported the fire. When crews arrived, Pavcek says, the fire was well advanced.

“We could see flames through the windows,” he says.

Under the circumstances (nobody in the house), the decision was made to mount “a defensive attack,” Pavcek says. That means not endangering the lives of the firefighters by sending them inside. It also means at least part of the focus is to make sure other structures aren’t damaged.

A tank was brought in from Smith and the fire hall in Kinuso also responded (in addition to Widewater and Slave Lake).

As for the cause, Pavcek says (or said, on Jan. 27) it was still under investigation. But they are leaning toward some accidental cause, such as a plugged-in appliance malfunction or something along those lines.

From what we’ve heard, the house belonged to the Courtorielle family, longtime residents of the area after whom the street is named. But nobody has been living in it lately.

That was the second fire in two days the fire service responded to. Late Saturday afternoon (Jan. 25) a call came in about a fire in the town office. A floor-cleaning machine had caught fire, Pavcek says. A town employee who happened to be there put the fire out with a fire extinguisher. That left mopping up operations to the fire service, which included clearing the building of smoke. There was quite a lot of it, Pavcek says, but “very minimal damage.”

Sunday’s fire call brought the total number of calls to 53 in January, far surpassing the previous high of 32. This following a record-breaking year in 2019 – the first time the fire department had seen over 400 calls in a year (443).

“Our volunteers are going above and beyond,” says Pavcek.

Photo courtesy Lesser Slave Regional Fire Service

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