EDMONTON – An inferno fueled by exploding propane tanks and high winds lit up the sky Monday night on a rural property about 16 kilometres west of Rimbey.
Around 9 p.m. fire crews, EMS and RCMP from the central Alberta town were called to a property near Highway 53 and Range Road 35.
They arrived to find a 80 by 50 foot steel workshop on fire. Several propane bottles in the shop exploded, sending out balls of fire and loud bangs. Inside the shop there was also a truck with a 100 gallon fuel tank.
Rimbey Fire Chief John Weisgerber said working around the large metal building was a challenge for the crew of about a dozen volunteer firefighters.
High winds spread the embers, causing the fire to quickly consume the building. A large collection of vintage tractors that the owner had been in the process of restoring was destroyed. Welding equipment, tires and other machinery was also lost.
Fire crews were able to prevent a nearby house and mobile home from being burnt down, however the siding on one of the homes was damaged.
RCMP said the property owners were inside their house when the fire started, and were alerted to it when their dogs started barking.
A water tanker manned by two firefighters was also brought in from Ponoka to help fight the fire, which was put out Tuesday around 1:30 a.m.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation.
More to come…