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Massive fire destroys under-construction southwest Edmonton home, damages others

Click to play video 'Home under construction in southwest Edmonton destroyed by fire' Home under construction in southwest Edmonton destroyed by fire
WATCH ABOVE: A massive fire destroyed a home under construction in the Windermere neighbourhood Wednesday morning. There was only minor damage to nearby homes but neighbours say this isn't the first time fire has happened there.

A massive house fire destroyed at least one mansion and damaged other homes in southwest Edmonton’s Windermere area Wednesday morning.

A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Credit: Trevor Delorey and Kayla Greencorn

Firefighters were called to a property between Windermere Drive and Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. at around 2:30 a.m., to find flames shooting out and smoke billowing from the large house.

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“It was fully involved when we arrived,” Edmonton Fire Rescue District Chief Dan Klingbeil said. “A little bit of heat damage to the surrounding houses, but fortunately the wind was blowing in the right direction for us and we were able to stop it with pretty much one house burning down.”

A neighbour told Global News there was also another fire at the same house in the spring.

“Last spring the roof was on fire while it was still under construction,” Steve Ashburn said, adding the home has been under construction for about a year and that it was likely approaching the drywalling phase.

“It was under construction, so nobody was living in it. Nobody was injured,” Klingbeil confirmed.

There was some damage to neighbouring homes.

“They got some vinyl damage to the siding on a couple of houses, maybe three houses, and some cracked windows. Fortunately, that was upwind from the fire – the houses that were closest were upwind, not downwind. That helped us out in terms of any exposure damage to the houses next door.”

“It was very close,” said Matt Aker, whose home was damaged by the blaze. “The side of our house is a bit burnt and windows are broken.”

Aker said his insurance provider told his family they were lucky not to lose their home, telling them they were about “five minutes away from going up in flames too.”

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Ashburn rushed over to Aker’s house when he saw the flames to make sure his family got outside safely.

“I just heard a noise – a pop – and the dog barked [so I] just got out of bed and looked outside and the house was already – the flames were coming through the roof,” Ashburn said. “We helped them (the Akers) get their kids out and their dogs into the vehicles and we all just met out on the street and kept our distance.”

“It was a bit of a rush for sure, seeing all those flames,” Aker said. “Just as soon as the kids were safe we were a lot better.”

A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Credit: Matt Aker
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Credit: Trevor Delorey and Kayla Greencorn
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017.
A massive fire destroyed at least one home near Westcliff Way and 6 Ave. SW. in Windermere, and damaged others in the southwest Edmonton neighbourhood Wednesday morning. November 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
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A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017.
A home under construction in Edmonton's Windermere neighbourhood was levelled by an overnight fire. Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. Dave Carels, Global News

 

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The fire happened in a newer neighbourhood at the edge of the city. The closest fire hall is five kilometres away, just off 23 Avenue and Terwillegar Drive on the north side of Anthony Henday Drive.

“I think the response time was about eight minutes, so this is out in a new area — this is quite good for us,” Klingbeil said.

“It wasn’t long… [until it was] fully engulfed,” Ashburn said. “It was really hot.”

The temperature was around -10 C when crews were working to put out the flames, so Edmonton transit buses were brought in.

“The firefighters are always gonna get cold, ” Klingbeil said. “We get a bus for rehab and get some coffee and the guys get a chance warm up after they’ve been fighting the fire for an hour or so.”

The cause of the fire and a damage estimate have not yet been determined.

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