September 25th, 2018

Case closed on fires without official cause determined

By Tim Kalinowski on January 24, 2017. @MHNTimKal

The causes of two fires are “undetermined” after investigators could not officially pinpoint any inciting event in either incident.

On Jan. 18 fires at Sheer Insanity Monster Trucks in Box Springs and a six-plex on Southlands Boulevard sent local firefighters from the City of Medicine Hat and Cypress County racing. The Box Springs garage fire could not be stopped resulting in the total loss of the business. However, firefighters were able to get the six-plex fire under control within a few minutes arriving on scene.

According to Medicine Hat Fire Service fire inspector Scott Hanelt, his investigation was able to determine an origin for the six-plex fire in the lowest apartment on the left side of the building, but was unable to determine what actually started the fire.  No further investigation is required at this time, he said, but if new information comes to light his office will re-open the investigation.

With the Box Springs fire, Cypress County acting deputy fire chief John McBain says it is much the same. Lack of evidence means no actual cause has been determined at this time. After discussions with the Fire Commissioner’s office, Cypress County does not intend to follow-up with the investigation unless new information comes to light.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner replied to a request for further information from the News with this emailed statement:

“The Office of the Fire Commissioner (OFC) informed Municipal Affairs’ Communications of your request for information about the (Sheer Insanity Monster Truck’s) shop fire. We cannot comment on this fire as it does not fall within the scope of the Office of the Fire Commissioner.”

According to officials there, the Office of the Fire Commissioner determines whether or not it will step in to investigate a fire based on discussions with the local fire chief.

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