Skip to content

Fire at Northern Alberta fireman's house quickly put out by colleagues

Quick response to home fire alarm reduces damage to firefighter's home

A start-of-the-year fire call for the Lac La Biche County Fire Rescue Services was for one of their own on January 4.

A fire dispatch was sent out to the northeastern Alberta fire department at two that afternoon, and minutes later, crews were pulling up to the rural home where smoke could be seen billowing out of downstairs windows. The home, located east of the Lac La Biche hamlet on Lakeland Drive, belongs to a firefighter who has been with the local department for more than a decade, and who was recently awarded with his 10-year service pin at a local awards night.

The firefighter and his family were out of the area when the call came in, and he was also not part of the response to the fire.

Lac La Biche County’s Regional Fire Chief John Kokotilo says the fire crews knew the home belonged to a fellow firefighter. Kokotilo did not want to identify the department member by name.

He said first responders got inside the home and managed to use a dry-chemical fire extinguisher to knock down flames that were confined to one area of the home’s living room.

The quick response and the decision not to use water hoses reduced damage to the home.

 “There was actually very little damage, only by smoke,” Kokotilo told Lakeland This Week. “The crews did an amazing job – reducing the amount of overall damage significantly – no water damage, minimal smoke damage.”

The chemicals from the extinguisher and the smoke from the fire have made it necessary for the family — including small children — to find temporary shelter until repairs are made and traces of the chemicals are removed.

Kokotilo says the cause of the fire is still under investigation. He offers residents some advice when it comes to keeping homes fire-safe.

 “Do not overload electrical circuits, no candles, stay alert when cooking, supervise all open flame fires like fireplaces and wood stoves, use extension cords safely… and above all always think safety first.”

Lakeland This Week did speak to the family who own the home.  Lac La Biche POST newsroom staff have also agreed to keep the firefighter’s name out of the story.

Just days after the fire, watching one of his kids skate in a minor hockey game at the Bold Center before heading back to their temporary home in a local hotel, he said the fire has definitely impacted the family — especially so close to the holiday season — but they are all safe.

“Most important is my family was unharmed,” he said, adding that the quick and measured response of his firefighting colleagues helped to reduce the impact.

“I credit the minimal damage to the alarm system for quickly calling it in and the Lac La Biche county fire department for their quick response. True brothers and sisters they are,” he said.



Rob McKinley

About the Author: Rob McKinley

Rob has been in the media, marketing and promotion business for 30 years, working in the public sector, as well as media outlets in major metropolitan markets, smaller rural communities and Indigenous-focused settings.
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks