|A fully engulfed garage located behind a house at 1328 35 St SE burns Saturday.
Firefighters were forced to battle small explosions from propane tanks, buring tires, and gasoline.
(Jose Rodriguez/ QMI Agency)
CALGARY - Fireballs and flames shot 10 metres into the air while the sounds of explosions could be heard by startled neighbours following a two-alarm fire in Calgary Saturday.
Residences immediately surrounding the garage the city's southeast were evacuated while fire crews battled the blaze. The fire was contained before it could spread to nearby homes.
Leaning against a fence with his hat pulled low, retiree Eugene Giroux, a longtime resident of Forest Lawn, watched his two-room garage burn down under billowing black smoke.
He said he was working on a car when it happened.
"I was just changing a tire, something sparked and that was it," he told QMI Agency.
His wife, Bernice, said she was inside their home when Eugene came running to the back door.
"He ran into the house and got me to call 911," she said.
Fire battalion Chief Ernie Molineaux spotted plumes of smoke and called in a second alarm.
Thirty firefighters and 10 rigs were deployed to battle the blaze in a "defensive attack," Molineaux said, adding contents inside the two-room garage - which included four vehicles, sources of propane or gasoline, tires and car parts - presented too great a risk for firefighters to enter.
Several nearby residences were also evacuated.
"As a precaution, we wanted other people to know there a potential for other issues," Molineaux said.
No one was injured.
Neighbours, including Trevor Gariepy, gathered to watch emergency crews contain the fire.
Gariepy said he was at his home on the next block when he heard an explosion.
"It was like a firebomb went off," he said.
Gariepy added Giroux, well-known and well-liked among resident, was "lucky to be alive."
Fire officials said the cause of the fire is still under investigation.