A dramatic fire that destroyed two mobile homes in a central Alberta town on Monday afternoon was likely caused by a portable open flame heater, the Penhold Volunteer Fire Department said in a post on its Facebook page Wednesday.
Fire crews from the Penhold and Innisfail fire departments were called to Penhold Estates Mobile Home Park blaze shortly before 4:15 p.m.
When crews arrived, two mobile homes were engulfed in flames, according to Penhold fire chief Jim Pendergast.
Both homes were occupied at the time, but the residents and their pets were able to make their way out safely.
Firefighters attempted to go inside one of the homes to battle the fire, but were forced out and had to go on a defensive attack, Pendergast explained.
One firefighter was taken to hospital after falling on the ice while battling the fire, but later released. The firefighter is expected to return to work next week.
Extremely cold temperatures made the fire particularly difficult to fight, according to Pendergast, who said firefighters’ hoses and breathing apparatus kept freezing up. He commended the crews for doing an outstanding job.
Crews were able to keep the fire from spreading to nearby homes. The people who lived in the mobile homes were able to find accommodations with family and friends.
“Unfortunately neither owners had insurance at the time of the fire,” Penhold fire said on Facebook.
In total, nine trucks and 27 firefighters were called in to battle the blaze. Fire crews were on scene until about 2:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Penhold is located about 15 kilometres south of Red Deer.
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