Alberta man invents, then torches his fireproof home

Ray Thibeault demonstrates how fireproof his home in Cold Lake, Alta. home is. (Jordan Small/QMI...

Ray Thibeault demonstrates how fireproof his home in Cold Lake, Alta. home is. (Jordan Small/QMI Agency)

Jordan Small, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:02 PM ET

COLD LAKE, Alta. — Stand back and watch Ray Thibeault attempt to burn down his house.

Using a blowtorch to demonstrate his point, Thibeault said he has designed a house that is fireproof and is a few months away from being put up for sale.

Thibeault thought of the fireproof home four decades ago, but said he was ridiculed for his idea by peers and investors. Over the past three years during his spare time, he stopped talking about his idea and turned his dream into a reality.

The three-bedroom, two-bathroom home is near completion in Cold Lake and is made up of concrete blocks, cement boards instead of drywall, flame-retardant insulation, metal shingles on the roof and steel support beams. No wood was used in the building of the house because Thibeault said he “doesn’t like it.”

Thibeault, 71, originally from Quebec, now residing in Bonnyville, Alta., has been working in the house renovation business since he was in his 20s.

He says the house can withstand not only a blaze, but also endure natural disasters such as floods and tornadoes.

Cold Lake fire chief Jeff Fallow did a walkthrough of the house to see it first hand and said it was “impressive” and “out of the normal”.

“The building itself seems fairly non-combustible, but we’ve highlighted to the owner that it will be the stuff inside that burns. Obviously, smoke detectors will be of the utmost importance,” said Fallow.

Thibeault used his blowtorch on different surfaces inside of the house, such as on the paint, but it never ignited.

The house also includes a kitchen, living areas and a garage.

“Too many people have died (in their homes) and it shouldn’t be like that,” Thibeault said.

Thibeault estimates the house will cost approximately $600,000.


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