August 16th, 2018

Fire guts Vista garage, damages home

By Collin Gallant on May 17, 2018.

A garage fire in the southside community of Vista capped off a busy day for emergency crews in Medicine Hat on Tuesday.

That evening fire gutted an attached garage after starting at about 7:30 p.m., causing extensive damage to the exterior of the home on Vista Drive, but relatively minor effects inside the house aside from some broken windows.

A siding of a neighbour’s garage was also pitted from the heat.

Platoon chief Joe Greenan said the fire began in the garage, and likely started when hot metal from welding caused material to smolder.

It was the third high-profile call for the department in about six hours.

“It was a busy day, but it’s not uncommon,” said Greenan Wednesday, adding that house fires are becoming increasingly uncommon, but spring weather adds to his department’s workload.

“As the heat kicks in, it might be nice and green now, but it will be very dry in a couple weeks with our hot, dry winds.”

That traditionally leads to more calls for firefighters to deal with problems from carelessly discarded smoking material or backyard fire pits.

On Tuesday, fire crews also dealt with two other high profile incidents, including one that snarled traffic for about an hour on a major north-south route.

At about 6 p.m. crews from Station No. 1 were called to an accident several blocks north on the Maple Avenue Bridge where a Volkswagen caught fire after rear-ending a pick-up truck.

Greenan described the incident as minor, though it forced traffic to back up along the bridge and crews were on scene for about an hour.

At about 1:20 p.m., crews were called to extinguish a camper fire on the Southeast Hill that had spread to tree canopy of a back lane. Power was out briefly and damage was limited to the trailer.

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