Five people were left homeless when fire ripped through two mobile homes in Blackfalds on Thursday night.
A father and adult son lived in one mobile home and escaped uninjured. A neighbour said a couple and their adult son were not at home in the other trailer when the fire began around 10:15 p.m. at Blackfalds Estates Mobile Park.
Two dozen volunteer firefighters from Blackfalds and Lacombe battled the blaze, whipped up by high winds, for two hours before it was brought under control.
Laura Tuck, who lives next to one of the mobile homes gutted by fire, said she was engrossed in a book and unaware of the danger next door.
“The next-door neighbour came and got me,” she said. “He said, ‘c’mon, you’ve got to get out of here. It’s on fire.’ ”
When she stepped out of her home, she was “very scared” when she saw the flames only a few feet from her home.
“The flames were going way up,” she said, adding her home was saved because the wind was blowing in the other direction.
“That’s why I’m lucky.”
Blackfalds Estates park manager Janice Ingham praised the volunteer firefighters who were on the scene within minutes. The fire department later reported it was on scene within eight minutes of the first call.
“It was amazing. They were here in no time at all,” said Ingham. “They had everything cordoned off and took care of everybody.”
The town opened up its community hall for residents who had to evacuate because of the fire. Red Cross and Victim Support Services stepped in and Microtel Inn and Suites offered places to stay. Klassic Kennels took in the pets of those who lost their homes.
Ingham said residents had to be evacuated from 18 mobile homes while the fire was put out.
High winds made the task more difficult.
“The wind picked up and (the fire) just sort of ballooned,” she said.
Firefighters remained on scene until 6 a.m. Three pumpers, a rescue unit and mobile command unit were called out. Firefighters were back on scene by 7:30 a.m. and remained the rest of the day.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. An insurance fire investigator was expected to arrive on scene late Friday afternoon.
Family and Community Support Services is not accepting donations yet for those left homeless but are taking names of anyone who wants to help out. Call 403-600-9066 for more information.