Bowden-area house fire claims 11 pets
House near Bowden Institution destroyed by blaze orginating from a wood stove
Eleven house pets have perished as a result of a rural house fire outside the Bowden Institution east gate.
The blaze, which started shortly before 6 p.m. on Jan. 27, destroyed the single-family dwelling at 35039 Rge. Rd. 10.
Innisfail RCMP along with fire departments from Innisfail and Bowden arrived at the scene minutes after receiving a 911 call at 5:46 p.m. from a female occupant said John Syroid, outgoing fire chief of the Innisfail Fire Department.
“The men encountered the total engulfment of the building and the fellows had to run fire lines out and start spraying water on it. They could not go into the building because it was not safe anymore at that point,” said Syroid. “The fire load in the house was very high. It was difficult to put the fire out.”
Syroid said firefighters were told a family was living in the home but there was only one female present when the fire broke out. He said RCMP was interviewing the female when firefighters arrived at the scene.
“She was quite shook up and they drove her away,” said Syroid, adding the woman was not injured as a result of the fire. “We didn’t get a chance to talk to her but as near as we could find out there was a large fire in one of the rooms.”
Syroid said firefighters were told there were numerous pets in the home and a dog was seen outside safe from the fire. However, Innisfail RCMP Cpl. Jeff Hildebrandt said on Jan. 30 that a dog, three cats and seven birds perished in the blaze.
Although Syroid did not want to speculate last week on the cause of the fire, Hildebrandt said it was determined the origin of the devastating blaze was a wood fireplace in the living room that was in use when the out-of-control fire broke out in the home.
Hildebrandt said RCMP determined the blaze was accidental in origin and police are not proceeding with a criminal investigation.
“It is pretty clear the origin of the fire was at the fireplace and as such it was accidental in nature,” said Hildebrandt. “It was used. It is wintertime and unfortunately there was dire consequences with the loss of property and the loss of pet life.”
Syroid said it took firefighters about three hours to put the fire out. He said no other buildings in the immediate area were threatened.
“The garage was far enough away not to get touched by the fire,” said Syroid, adding no firefighters were injured during their long battle to put out the blaze.
Syroid said there was a total of 14 Innisfail firefighters on the scene who arrived with a rescue truck, two pumpers, a tanker and a command vehicle.
Bowden Fire Department responded with pumper and tanker.
Syroid said an insurance adjuster and fire inspector were at the scene on Jan. 29 as his department’s investigation into the blaze continues.