A Central Alberta couple woke up around midnight Wednesday to smoke and the sound of an explosion.
Joute Meinema, Meinema Farms Ltd. co-owner, said he was in bed when he heard an explosion and didn’t realize what was going on at first.
Meinema went downstairs to investigate the noise.
“I didn’t know what happened and went outside and it was all smoke and called 911 and this is the result,” he said, pointing to the smoke still coming from what was left of his building on Wednesday afternoon.
Overnight the Meinema Farms’ 8,000 square-foot office building burned to the ground. Fire officials say the building is at a total loss.
Meinema said his family is relieved no one was hurt in the fire.
“It’s been a long cold night,” said his partner Cindy Meinema.
But the fire has still hit close to home destroying the building that stood there since 1992.
“It’s tragic to see it all gone,” said Joute. “This was our workplace and our workplace is gone.”
Fifteen people worked in the building on Range Road 29-5, off Highway 12 west of Lacombe.
The largest part of the building was a mechanic shop, which had skidsteers and other farming equipment inside. Tractors and a pickup truck outside of the building were destroyed as well.
Fire crews were called to the property around midnight and crews arrived in about 20 minutes. Thirty volunteer firefighters from Lacombe, Bentley, Blackfalds and Clive helped battlethe blaze.
“The cause of the fire is under investigation … but we are a little concerned about it,” said Lacombe fire chief Ed van Delden.
The fire was under control within an hour.