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Early-morning fire destroys shop

Two fire departments respond to early-morning Dec. 1 shop fire 17 kilometres northwest of Athabasca.

ATHABASCA - A farm shop was destroyed in an early-morning Dec. 1 blaze 17 kilometres northwest of the Town of Athabasca.

Baptiste Lake Fire Department chief Robert Laackmann said he got the call at 8:20 a.m. and called in the Athabasca Fire Department shortly after.

Travis Shalapay, chief of the Athabasca Fire Department, confirmed he got the call at 8:31 a.m. and six men joined in fighting the fire with the 10 volunteer fire fighters from the Baptiste Lake department.

"The shop was fully engulfed upon arrival," Shalapay said. "The fire was very challenging due to hazaradous materials in the shop."

Shalapay added the -21 C weather did not help in putting out the blaze, but did note the lone occupant of the shop, a pot bellied pig, did escape harm. There were no other injuries reported.

The shop contained a holiday trailer and tools along with bedding for the pig which was still smoldering as Athabasca crews were leaving the scene at 11 a.m. Baptiste Lake fire fighters will remain on scene until the fire is completely burned out.

Shalapay stated that there was no obvious cause and that Athabasca County regional fire chief Steve Hamilton will be investigating the fire.

Heather Stocking

About the Author: Heather Stocking

Heather Stocking a reporter at the Athabasca Advocate, a weekly paper in Northern Alberta. Heather covers all aspects of the news in and around Athabasca and Boyle as well as other small communities.
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