A garage fire in Ponoka on Tuesday, July 30, was started when the homeowner was welding in his garage. Photos by Emily Jaycox/Ponoka News

Garage fire in Ponoka caused by welding spark

Garage gutted by fire

A detached garage in Lucas Heights, Ponoka is a burned out husk after a fire was started while the homeowner was welding and a spark ignited a bucket of rags on Tuesday, July 30, according to Ponoka RCMP.

At about 2:30 p.m., the Ponoka County Regional Fire Service and the Ponoka RCMP responded to a structural fire on the 60 St. and 52 Ave. block.

The garage was engulfed in flames as crews arrived and EMS was departing with the homeowner, who had sustained minor burn injuries while attempting to put out the fire with a garden hose.

Ponoka County East was on the scene within a few minutes of receiving the call, and the flames were quickly extinguished and contained, preventing the fire from spreading to any other surrounding home or structure, according to Ponoka County Regional Fire Chief Dennis Jones.

A few trees may have been singed, but that was all, he added.

“Our guys did a fantastic job.”

Considering the size of the fire, Jones says he’s very happy they were able to keep it contained.

Ponoka County East responded with Engine 16 (which has a 1,000 gallon tank), Ladder 9 and Command 1.

Black smoke could be seen billowing from the charred remains of the structure.

In a fire, whenever there are any kind of hydrocarbons presents (for example, any rubber, oil or grease, polyethylene foam, or carpeting) the fire will produce black smoke, says Jones.

In this instance, a tire on the scene was burning as the fire department arrived, with possible other hydrocarbons in the garage causing black smoke.

The fire resulted in the total loss of the garage and its contents, according to Jones.

Water was sprayed on a home across the alley using a tower, as an added precaution, in case any sparks had gone in that direction. Firefighters were finishing up dousing the remains of the structure at around 3 p.m.

Ponoka RCMP members spoke with the homeowner to ascertain what happened, which is standard procedure with any fire investigation. The fire was determined to be accidental and the file will be closed, according to acting detachment commander Sgt. Chris Smiley.

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