Lacombe Flying Club members feel for their fellow aviator who lost three planes in a devastating fire Sunday.
Club president Jon Fromm would not name the owner of the hangar, which was gutted in an evening fire that also destroyed a pair of vehicles and an RV stored inside.
“He actually built that hangar back in 1980,” said Fromm. “He’s been a member of the club for 40 years.”
The owner of the hangar at Lacombe Regional Airport was present while firefighters battled the blaze that started around 7:30 p.m. and was not extinguished until the early hours of Monday morning.
The fire caused more than $1 million in damage to the structure and its contents.
“He was there watching it burn with the rest of us, and he was already talking about rebuilding,” Fromm said.
A fire investigator has been combing through the remains, but no cause has been released so far.
“We’re just waiting for the insurance company to show up and the cleanup will begin.”
A single-engine Cessna, a twin-engine Cessna and an Italian-designed twin-engine plane were destroyed.
Nobody was injured and everything can be replaced, Fromm said.
“Nobody likes to a see a hangar burn down, or a garage, or a house, or anything. It’s always a loss. But at least it wasn’t a house full of photos and memories that can’t be replaced.”
Lacombe acting Fire Chief Eric Graham said backhoes were brought in to shift debris for the fire investigator on Monday. But Graham has not had any word of a possible cause yet.
The airport was established in 1962 and renamed Lacombe Regional Airport in 2017. Owned by the City of Lacombe and operated by the flying club, it is used by recreational pilots, business travellers, STARS air ambulance, Alberta Health Services air ambulance, civil air search and rescue, RCMP and government.
The flying club has been active in promoting the airport and undertaking upgrades. New runway lights were installed in 2018 and a taxiway extended, among other improvements.