More than a dozen vintage tractors were destroyed in a fire that levelled a farm shop near Rimbey on Monday night.
Rimbey Fire Chief John Weisgerber said they were called about 9 p.m. to the rural property about 15 km northwest of the town.
A large 15-metre-by-24-metre farm building was ablaze. The owner was alerted to the blaze by barking dogs.
Firefighters were able to protect a nearby house and mobile home but the shop was burned to the ground and the tractors, a pickup and tools destroyed.
Large bangs could be heard and balls of fire seen as the building burned.
Firefighters from Rimbey and Ponoka, which supplied a pumper truck, were on scene until about 1:30 a.m. They had to contend with high winds that spread burning embers and exploding propane and oxyacetylene tanks.
Cody Rosenthal said 14 tractors belonging to his grandfather Roy were lost. He has spent more than two decades fixing up and restoring tractors, mostly to resell.
“He has sold over 170 tractors. Those were his favourites, so he kept them.”
The loss of the tractors hit his grandfather hard.
“(He’s in) rough shape. You lose your favourite hobby, all at once.”
Cody lives on the property with his grandfather and grandmother and an uncle.
A damage estimate was not yet available. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.