At approximately 3:00am on Thursday, July 20th, the Martensville Fire Department received multiple calls regarding a condo fire taking place on Parr Hill Drive in the Lake Vista neighborhood of Martensville.
Upon attending the scene, the MFD took approximately 20 minutes to get the fire under control, and until approximately 6:30am to fully extinguish the blaze with the aid of two pumper trucks and one tanker truck. In the end, a total of seven units were damaged, with five being completely destroyed, one with fire damage and another with water damage. The following day, members of the MFD returned to the scene to extinguish a flare up in the basement of the destroyed condo unit.
The condo unit was currently under construction, and therefore no residents were living within the units at the time of the fire. The inferno was so hot, numerous nearby homes saw damage to the siding. Total damage is estimated at approximately $1 million.
A joint investigation between the Saskatchewan Fire Commissioners Office and the Martensville Fire Department resulted in an undetermined cause of fire, although they feel it is suspicious in nature. “The scene was completely burned out where it started; therefore there are a lot of things that we are unable to rule out with that amount of destruction. We know that the fire started in the condos that were under construction, and it spread to the other condo that is still standing,” MFD Fire Chief Kurtis Dyck explained. The results of the investigation have now been handed over to the local RCMP.
This was the third suspicious incident since April of this year, which prompted the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders’ Association to send out an alert to their members regarding the issue. “This certainly appears to be out of the ordinary for the industry and there was concern, so we wanted to inform our members to keep a watchful eye and to be careful and certainly, if they did have any information about the incidents, to inform the Saskatoon and Martensville Police to help with the investigation,” Chris Guérette CEO of the Saskatoon and Region Home Builders Association, explained. When asked if to her knowledge, Guérette was aware of this taking place previously, she responded that although she hadn’t been in the industry for an extended length of time, she did in fact speak to a long time member if this had ever happened, and they responded ‘never.’ “Certainly we want to try to protect the work that is already there, and help the companies that are working hard to build homes and to give them all of the information that they need to keep working, so that is why we felt it was important to provide details,” Guérette added.
None of the homes that have gone ablaze were habituated at the time of the fires, although surrounding homes in the area with residents did see damage.
North Ridge Developments, the company that was building the condo unit, saw another suspicious blaze at a building that was under construction and had no electricity or natural gas connected. The company sent out a notice stating that they plan to begin rebuilding immediately and that they are working with police and fire departments.
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Members of the Martensville Fire Department returned to the site of the blaze the following day to extinguish a flare up in the basement of the destroyed condo unit. The estimated damage is $1 million. (Shanine Sealey/MM)