Fire destroys Morinville home

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Community rallies to help homeless family

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.”

Carly Beck, who lived in the home in question, thanked supporters on the official Donations for the Beck Family 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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Kevin Ma

Kevin Ma joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2006. He writes about Sturgeon County, education, the environment, agriculture, science and aboriginal affairs. He also contributes features, photographs and video.