Fire completely destroyed a house just outside the town of Millet, Alta., early Wednesday leaving a family with only the clothes they were wearing.
The fire was already through the roof of the home before firefighters were dispatched, said Capt. Trevor Palmer, with the Millet Volunteer Fire Department.
“It had been burning for a while before we got there, which in the middle of the night can happen quite often,” Palmer said Thursday.
The call came in at 2:09 a.m., he said.
The residents were able to get out of the burning building, and no one was injured.
A Facebook post said a business in Millet is collecting donations for the family, which lost everything, escaping only with the clothes they were sleeping in.
A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family and is close to meeting its $2,000 goal.
When firefighters arrived they began a defensive attack, Palmer said.
“We call them surround and drowns — you drown the fire with water as much as you can to get it out,” Palmer said.
Water tanker support was brought in from Wetaskiwin to help, Palmer said.
“The 15 [firefighters] who were on scene worked pretty much tirelessly for the four hours we were out there,” he said.
By the end, the basement and walls were left charred and standing, with the roof and contents completely destroyed, said Palmer.
Major house fires are not common for Millet firefighters, he said.
“It’s been actually about 18 months since we’ve had a residential structure fire with what I would call significant damage,” Palmer said.
A week ago, the fire department responded to a fire that burned a dairy barn to the ground east of Millet.
Firefighters and the landowners were able to remove a large herd of cows from the barn unharmed.