December 28, 2018 9:22 pm
Updated: December 28, 2018 9:42 pm

Overnight fire guts Banff home

WATCH: A fire destroyed the top floor of a house in Banff on Friday, and crews say water damage has left the house inhabitable. As Michael King reports, neighbours say it could have been much worse.

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A house fire in Banff has left a family away on vacation with a only an uninhabitable home to come back to.

At around 10:30 p.m. Thursday, the fire crews were called to Grizzly Street after reports of a house fire.

Chief Silvio Adamo said the entire second floor was engulfed when they arrived.

“We understand that the fire started in the second level,” said Adamo. “That’s with the initial investigation is showing us.”

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Crews were able to soak the bordering trees preventing the fire from spreading to neighbouring houses.

“There are a lot of trees and a lot of wood structures,” said Adamo “We were very careful in making sure that we are protecting both structures on either side.”

The proximity of overhanging trees had some neighbours worried the fire would spread down the block.

Peter Poole — a neighbour and Banff councillor — said he was ready to evacuate.

“We thought, as our other neighbours did, that this fire would spread from house to tree to tree to house.”

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Poole said more need to be done to protect communities from both structure and forest fires. He said the first step is to remove or replace trees that are too close to buildings.

“Two homes will share a tree between them spanning both houses,” said Poole “It could ignite both and there is a risk of that happening.”

Poole plans to speak with local fire officials about a plan to go door-to-door, evaluating the fire risks of each property.

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

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