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Morinville rallies to help family displaced by fire

$400,000 fire destroys home

By: Kevin Ma

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 06:00 am

HOUSE DESTROYED – The Beck family of Morinville had its home destroyed by fire on Wednesday night.
HOUSE DESTROYED – The Beck family of Morinville had its home destroyed by fire on Wednesday night.
MORINVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT/Supplied photo

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Donations are pouring in for a Morinville family this week after their home burned to the ground Wednesday night.

Morinville Fire responded to a call about a fire at 8703 104 Ave. in Morinville at around 9:35 p.m. May 28, said Fire Chief Brad Boddez.

The woman (one of the parents in the home) who called the fire department said she heard what sounded like a bang on the wall just prior to the fire, followed by a bigger bang, Boddez said.

“She thought that the wall kind of shook.”

When her male partner checked the home’s attached garage and found it aflame, they and their three kids immediately fled the home.

About 28 firefighters were on scene at the Sunshine Lake home within seven minutes, Boddez said.

“We happened to be training Wednesday night, so it was good we were all here at the (fire) hall.”

By the time they arrived, both the home and its attached garage were fully engulfed by 20-foot-tall flames. The two parents and three children in the home were already safe outside, uninjured.

“When it’s fully involved like that, our next priority would be those neighbouring exposures,” Boddez said.

Crews set up two hose lines and a ladder truck to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent homes, both of which escaped with minor damage to their siding. Favourable wind conditions also kept the blaze from spreading.

The home itself was mostly destroyed. Damage is estimated at about $400,000, Boddez said.

He said investigators are still searching for the cause of the fire.

“It’s not a suspicious fire at this point.”

The explosions could have been caused by paint cans or car tires in the garage, he suggested. There was also a propane tank on the property, the emergency release valve of which had opened due to the heat.

The affected family (the Becks) is staying with relatives, Boddez said. Residents are now rallying to collect donations on their behalf.

“The community has really come together.”

Town resident Tiffany Fraser, whose son goes to school with one of the Beck children, said she was mortified when she found out about the fire.

“My heart just sank for them.”

When she and many other residents online started asking how they could help, Fraser volunteered to act as a clearing-house for donations and created the Donations for the Beck Family Facebook page Thursday.

Toys, clothes, gift cards, cash and more have since flooded in from across the region, Fraser said. They now have roughly $3,000 in donations, including all the clothes they need.

“It’s insane, overwhelming, amazing and awesome!”

Fraser said the group would keep collecting donations for as long as people wanted to give them. Any excess funds and goods would go towards regional women and children’s shelters.

“It’s so amazing to see a community come together for such a great family.”

Carly Beck, who lived in the home in question, thanked supporters on the donation effort’s Facebook page Thursday.

“I cannot express my gratitude for all the overwhelming support, kindness and generosity myself and my children have received!” she wrote.

“Thank every single one of you for your thoughts and your help, what a great community we live in! It’s devastating to lose your home but we are all safe and sound … I cannot thank you enough for the support my family is feeling!”


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