Abandoned home burns on island

County district fire chief Dave Laurin said Sunday the home had been abandoned when it was cut off by the river about 18 months ago.

Nearly three dozen firefighters were called out to battle a blaze Saturday evening in an abandoned home on a small island in the Red Deer River west of Bowden.

Bowden and Spruce View volunteer fire departments were dispatched about 5:30 p.m. and Red Deer County firefighters were asked to assist a short time later.

County district fire chief Dave Laurin said Sunday the home had been abandoned when it was cut off by the river about 18 months ago.

The province has since bought the property, which is near the Garrington Bridge and about 30 km west of Bowden, from the owner.

Fire trucks could not reach the isolated site so volunteer crews had to wade across and a Rhino and a similar vehicle were used to ferry equipment across.

“The whole fire was fought using wildland equipment,” said Laurin. Pumps were used to drew water from the river to dump on the fire.

The home was completely destroyed and the fire was out around 10 p.m.

It is difficult to estimate damage because the home was no longer considered habitable, he said.

While the home is not easy to reach, quad riders, hikers and other back country enthusiasts have been known to stop there, although Laurin said he wouldn’t go as far as to call it a party spot.

There were no injuries.

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