A benefit is being held to help a family who lost their home and all possessions in a fire on a rural property known as the historic Moore Ranch near Pine Lake.
Judy Dreeshen said on Friday that Rosalie and Andy Engman and son Mason were home when the fire occurred.
Rosalie Engman, who is Dreeshen’s niece, had been up late watching TV on May 26, but had nodded off. She awoke to a strange noise on the roof of the manufactured home they lived in. The noise turned out to be cinders landing on the roof.
Dreeshen said the compressor on the motor of a freezer in a nearby garage had caught fire. “She really just had time to wake up her son and husband and get everybody out alive, thank God,” Dreeshen said.
They were treated for smoke inhalation and were OK but it would have been minutes before they would have been not OK, she said.
The fire destroyed the garage, home and an addition to the home, located about 13 km south of Pine Lake. The ranch has been in the Moore family for four generations.
Charlie and Janice Moore, who own the ranch but now live across the road, had been in Red Deer at an event and were returning when they saw the fire. They tried to fight it with a garden hose while waiting for the fire department but everything is tinder dry in the Pine Lake area, Dreeshen said.
Elnora, Innisfail and Penhold volunteer fire departments responded and were able to save the machinery shop, shed, barn and corrals. “Thank heaven it wasn’t a really windy night,” Dreeshen said.
The benefit is on June 20 at 7 p.m. at the Crossroads Agriculture Park at Pine Lake. There will be live and silent auctions, food, refreshments and entertainment. It is being hosted by the Crossroads Agriculture Society.
As well, a trust fund has been set up at the Innisfail ATB in the name of “Engman Fire Fund” to help the family, who did not have any insurance.
Crossroads Agriculture Park is located at the intersection of Hwys 42 and 816.