A Blackfalds man is homeless after the mobile home he was renting was gutted by fire on Wednesday morning.
At about 9 a.m., the Blackfalds fire department was dispatched to an older trailer home on Westwood Drive after neighbours reported seeing heavy smoke coming from a window.
Flames were also visible when fire crews from Blackfalds and Lacombe arrived at the scene with a pumper truck and four emergency rescue vehicles, said Deputy Fire Chief Mike Elder of the Blackfalds fire department.
“We didn’t know if anyone was home,” he added — so while several firefighters were spraying water at the blaze, two firefighters entered the other end of the trailer and started a search.
No one was found inside. Fire officials later learned the lone resident of the home was at work when the fire broke out in the kitchen/living room area.
The flames were extinguished by 1 p.m. While the exterior still looks intact, Elder said the mobile home’s interior is gutted. He estimates at least $100,000 in damage between the contents and structure.
Fires in older trailer homes are tricky to extinguish, admitted Elder, because the wood panelling inside “goes up fast.” The metal cladding also tends to contain the heat. This was beneficial in this case because another rental mobile home, which shared a roof with the fire-ravaged one, was not damaged in the blaze. Elder said the two homes were set up something like a duplex.
The affected tenant and landlord both had fire insurance and are waiting for an adjustor to survey the scene. Elder believes the occupant of the damaged home is staying at a hotel.
The cause of the fire has yet to be determined.