Wednesday, September 19, 2012

mckenzie towne fire

So this was definitely an interesting weekend to say the least. Early Sunday morning, Nick got home from work around 1:30am and we went to bed. Around 2:45am, my phone rings and I see that Bianca is calling me. I knew she had gone out that night, and so the first thing that came to mind was that she was a little drunk and maybe needed a ride home, or something happened and needed me to come pick her up. Now, this hasn’t ever happened, but given the time that she was calling, and I knew where she was, it seemed like a plausible idea. Well, I pick up the phone and the first thing Bianca says to me is “Are you okay? Is your house on fire?” I was a little confused and told her no. She then told me to go look outside as she says it looks like there is a BIG fire right by my house. I later find out that she was on her way home in a cab, and from 22x (a road by our house) Bianca said it looked like the McKenzie Towne shopping area was on fire. I looked out our bedroom window which faces north and couldn’t see any smoke or fire, so I raced to our other bedroom which faces south and I could see high flames coming from the other side of the building. I couldn’t see the source, so I didn’t know how close it was to us, so I called Nick and he came and had a look himself. I quickly got dressed and went down to the basement and out our garage to the back alley. As soon as I walked a few meters east and looked south to where the fire was, I could see that at least to two sections of townhouses were on fire about 3-4 rows down from us were totally engulfed in flames. I calmed down a little, because the fire wasn’t too close to our house. I ran back to our house to grab my better camera (I had my phone on me, but it wasn’t taking great pictures). Once I grabbed my camera, fire trucks were beginning to show up and Nick was tired and wanted to go back to bed. He said, “Well it has to burn down a few more rows of houses before it gets to ours, so I’m going back to bed”. Haha, couldn’t believe how he didn’t really care and had no interest in watching (at the same time, he really isn’t one for getting excited about anything).
So he went back to bed and I walked around the complex getting closer to the fire and took a few more photos (I submitted them to the Calgary Herald, and they used my photos in their online gallery of the fire – my 15 seconds of fame). Eventually the crowd got a lot bigger and the firefighters were beginning to tell people to back away. They began to have the fire under control so I decided to walk back to the house and go back to bed.
The next morning we found out that all together about 4 units were affected. One unit was completely levelled, 2 are heavily damaged (so they will probably have to be knocked down) and a 4th unit is also damaged. There was also an entire row of cars that were damaged as they began to melt (that’s how hot the flames got), and the trimming around the windows of the condos across the street also melted a little bit, and they will also have to be replaced. I feel pretty lucky that the fire didn’t come close to our place and our home didn’t burn down. There is still an investigation going on as they believe someone started the fire, so for the first two days we weren’t able to have access to our garage and on Sunday morning when I left for church, I had to cross a police line, which was a little weird. Overall it was a little bit of a scary situation, and I hope a fire never comes that close again to our home. 


  1. HOLY!
    im glad you guys are fine....and i know this is a late post (new reader!) but im glad you guys are okay!
    and those pictures, i love them (i mean i know bad situation!) but i like how they came out.
    and nicks line: “Well it has to burn down a few more rows of houses before it gets to ours, so I’m going back to bed”. priceless!
    hope all is well now!


    1. Yup, all is well. They actually finished rebuilding those units about a month ago and the owners have now been able to move in.