Over a dozen residents were displaced from their homes following a fire in Hawthorn Place neighbourhood on May 31. Sylvan Lake’s fire chief Cliff Brausen confirmed that all residents self-evacuated with no reported injuries.
The fire quickly spread damaging the entire newly built structure with six units.
Emergency services received a call around 12:15 p.m. Sixteen firefighters with four trucks attended the scene and had the fire under control within an hour.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
While some residents found refuge with family and friends, others were forced to rent rooms.
“It’s traumatizing to watch your home burn, to watch the people you love screaming in pain while there’s nothing we can do,” said Brook Swartz, who moved to a Red Deer hotel with her roommate following the fire. “I’m also angry that a few families are without a home.”
Brausen said the fire led to significant water and smoke damage to the structure.
Harper Elwood also lived with Swartz in one of those homes. Elwood’s employer and co-workers at Bukwildz were quick to help out, scheduling a fundraiser for June 7, between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m.
Servers will be donating all their tips and business owner Kjeryn Dakin will match the amount raised.
“I hope this takes some sadness away from those affected who lost so much,” Dakin said. “We do whatever we can.”
Dakin said the funds raised will be split among all residents affected by the fire.
“Imagine all the little things that matter to you in life, photos on the wall, cards, sweaters, your fave outfit, now imagine it’s all gone. You can’t put a monetary value on this,” said Swartz. ” I don’t know how to cope with the frustration I feel.”
Swartz feels thankful for the support and response from the fire department.