Fire pit blamed for blaze

A fire that destroyed four homes in Sylvan Lake on May 18 was caused by embers from a fire pit, Sylvan Lake fire chief Cliff Brausen said on Friday in a news release.

A fire that destroyed four homes in Sylvan Lake on May 18 was caused by embers from a fire pit, Sylvan Lake fire chief Cliff Brausen said on Friday in a news release.

The investigation, conducted by Brausen with assistance from Alberta Emergency Management Agency staff, concluded that the fire originated in the rear of one of the houses in the area of an attached deck. It’s believed that embers in a free standing fire pit were carried by high winds and ignited nearby combustibles, says the release. Investigators wouldn’t say what exactly the “combustibles” were.

The embers were from an old fire.

“It’s just a reminder for everybody to make sure their fire is out and to douse it with water,” said Town of Sylvan Lake communications officer Erin Peden.

Brausen credited area residents with providing valuable assistance in the investigation and that “a number of people came forward and provided photos and other information.”

Fourteen people were left homeless by the blaze on Wildrose Drive and more than 10 other houses were damaged. The total tally of damages was upward of $3 million, said Peden.