A fire at a North Fork acreage Monday afternoon appears to have been intentionally set.
This from Grand Forks RCMP detachment Cpl. Richard Lanz, who cautioned that the matter is still being investigated.
Lanz confirmed Wednesday morning, “One male was located in the residence, deceased.”
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue Chief Dale Heriot reported the department was called at about 3:30 p.m. to a structure fire on Brown Creek Road North that included a shop, barn, outbuilding and house.
The department responded with three engines, two water tenders and two command vehicles.
“As we arrived on scene the outbuildings were fully involved and there was light smoke coming out of the house,” Heriot said. “We set up water shuttle operations and worked the fire until about 12:30 a.m.”
A total of 31 firefighters responded throughout the duration of the fire.
“We also called Christina Lake Fire Department as mutual aid to provide support in allowing all of the firefighters to have a rest and receive fluids and nourishment,” Heriot said.
The Christina Lake department responded with an engine and a crew of five firefighters.
“Fortunately we have a very good working relationship with their department and they have always done a fantastic job for us when called upon.”
Firefighting in a rural setting always provides unique challenges as almost every rural situation is different, the chief added.
“Some driveways are very long, some very steep, some narrow, etc. Access and setup is always a challenge,” Heriot explained. “As well we make our firefighters understand that we need to be even more efficient with water usage in rural areas. Unfortunately there are very few locations on the river that are accessible with our big equipment. We always have to be aware of banks sloughing or our apparatus sinking in soft ground.”
Heriot said that in this situation there was a pond at the neighbours but with the shallow water table in the area, he was concerned about soft ground.
“The crew has become very proficient in shuttling water and we are very successful at shuttling without running out of water. I’m pretty confident that in most situations we can provide continuous water by shuttle. This is how we were able to receive the Superior Water Tanker Shuttle Certification from Fire Underwriters Survey, which provides an insurance saving for rural residents within a specified distance from a fire hall.”