April 30, 2018 7:29 pm
Updated: April 30, 2018 7:30 pm

Southern Manitoba reeve loses home to brush fire

Grass fires consumed hectares and at least one home near Zhoda Sunday. Global's Joe Scarpelli reports.


The reeve of a southern Manitoba municipality is homeless after a large brush fire ripped through his property on Sunday.

Stuartburn Reeve Jim Swidersky said he was at home late Sunday afternoon when he thought the lights in his living room were flickering. Instead, it was a fire burning nearby.

“It was like a freight train coming right through,” he said.

READ MORE: State of emergency declared in Badger, Man. as wildfire grows

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He said he ran out and grabbed a garden hose in an attempt to control the blaze headed for his home.

“My hydro line had fallen and was sparking on the ground and that was it,” he said. “No hydro, no water, I lost it all.”

Swidersky is no stranger to these types of situations. As the RM’s reeve, he said he’s always one of the first to offer support when residents are hit with tragedy.

“Personally, I’ve never gone through a fire or devastation like this,” he said. “I literally asked the fire department, ‘what do I do?'”

READ MORE: Grass fire east of Dugald Road under control

Swidersky said he’s most upset by all the personal items he lost in the fire.

“I have nothing, I’m nobody,” he said. “I don’t have anything to substantiate my past.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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