Cause of SunRidge fire determined as community rallies behind victims

Click to play video: 'Community comes together after massive fire'
Community comes together after massive fire
WATCH ABOVE: A family of five, an elderly couple and four university students are now out of their homes after a fire tore through three homes in the community of Sunridge Wednesday. As Erik Mikkelsen reports, it wasn't long before the community gathered to help those in need – Apr 7, 2016

LETHBRIDGE – Investigators have determined the cause of Wednesday night’s fire in the west-side community of SunRidge as improperly disposed of smoking materials.

Fire Marshall Heath Wright said the fire started at the back of 57 Sunridge Boulevard and quickly spread to the neighbouring two homes.

No charges are expected to be laid as investigators confirm it was an accidental fire. Wright said fire crews cannot stress enough the importance of making sure cigarette butts and fires are completely extinguished.

READ MORE: Fire tears through Lethbridge community, destroys three homes

As investigators skimmed through the wreckage Thursday, four university students, a retired couple and a young family are now without all of their precious belongings.

Tyson Boylan and his family live next door to where the blaze began, and he said once his wife told him a fire was next door, he did everything he could to help.

Story continues below advertisement

“I went out because I thought it was a relatively minor house fire,” Boylan said.

“I have a fire extinguisher in my garage and I went out back thinking I could maybe help until the fire department showed up and there was a huge flaming inferno on the back porch on the house next to us,” Boylan added.

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.

Get daily National news

Get the day's top news, political, economic, and current affairs headlines, delivered to your inbox once a day.
By providing your email address, you have read and agree to Global News' Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.


As fire crews continued to battle the blaze and the winds, the community started to rally behind the victims.

Story continues below advertisement

Approximately one hour after the fire broke out, members from the Delta Eta Iota sorority at the University of Lethbridge had started a GoFundMe page for the victims, and a Facebook group hoping to gather anything they could. Within the hour over $1000 was raised and over 900 people had joined the Facebook group offering clothes, shelter, food and money.

“We just sat together and couldn’t believe not only how many of our sisters stepped up to donate their time and their belongings and their money and also to see how many people in the community had stepped up,” Kelsie Hanson, Delta Eta Iota alumna said.

CLICK HERE: GoFundMe “Help DHI Help SunRidge”

The home where the fire started was lived in by four members of the Kappa Sigma fraternity at the U of L. It wasn’t long before other members found out about the fire, and showed up to lend a helping hand in anyway they could.

“A friend came and found me on campus and told me that our friends house was burning,” Scott Harvey, Kappa Sigma member said. “We decided to come over right away and see what we could do. First honestly to make sure everyone was okay, and thank God everyone was.”

The clean-up continues.


Sponsored content