A structure fire at the Strathmore Ag grounds yesterday is still under investigation for the cause. Strathmore Fire Department (SFD) Chief David Sturgeon explained they know that the fire started from hay, but what initially started the fire remains unknown.
"With any type of outbuilding generally people run some type of power, whether that's a permanent power source or extension cords or things like that. We're looking into that, and then if there was any equipment like lawnmowers or maybe smaller type equipment or battery powered... with the lithium ion batteries we are getting more and more of those fires, so we have to be cognizant of that," he said.
Sturgeon added hay fires can happen in the winter even if it's cold, and factors like moisture or direct sunlight could also play into how this fire started. The SFD estimated the damages to be around $25 000, but their quick response saved the building and prevented further damage from being done.
"What mostly burned was the straw and hay piles and the other side their storage side was basically unaffected. There was some minor damage there, but that stuff seemed to be ok."
The SFD introduced seven new volunteer firefighters to the team two weeks ago, and the importance of these volunteers was immediately noticed through this incident. Sturgeon thanked all the volunteers who helped respond to the fire, as well as the Wheatland West Fire Department, who helped respond to the fire and are also a team of volunteers.
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