Melfort Fire responds to chimney fire, second deer collision

·2 min read

Melfort Fire and Rescue had a busy holiday season with several calls, including a second vehicle catching fire after hitting a deer and a clogged chimney filling a house with smoke.

On Dec. 16, crews responded to a vehicle fire north of Highway 6 at 8:11 a.m. where a minivan had hit a deer, resulting in the vehicle igniting. When crews arrived they found the minivan fully engulfed. Nobody was injured with the driver exiting the vehicle when it ignited.

The department attacked the vehicle fire with water and foam. Once the fire was extinguished, the Department of Highways was contacted to sand the highway so the water wouldn’t freeze into a hazard.

This is the second recent deer collision that caused a fire around the community, with another occurring on Dec. 6 one mile north of Silver Park.

On Dec. 24, crews responded to what they believed to be a structure fire on Groat Drive. When crews arrived they found the issue to be ice clogging the chimney at the top, resulting in the smoke being unable to escape.

Firefighters removed the top piece of the chimney and smoke started to escape through the chimney. They then cleared the top piece of the ice and put the chimney back into place, at which point smoke started to exit as normal.

Crews then ventilated the house to remove the rest of the smoke. Once the house was clear of smoke and the chimney was working properly, the crew terminated the call and returned to base.

It isn’t particularly rare for Melfort Fire responding to chimney fires. In 2019, a chimney fire in the RM of Kinistino caused the department to proactively remind people to clean their chimneys once a year minimum. In the following advisory, the department stated that cleaning chimneys works to prevent a buildup of flammable creosote, which is typically a mixture of tar and unburned carbon that tends to coat the inside of chimneys.

Other calls over the holidays included a two vehicle collision on Dec. 24, a report of bale fires that were unable to be found on Dec. 24, a smoking vehicle on Dec. 26, and a potential gas leak false alarm on Dec. 27.

Jessica R. Durling, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Humboldt Journal

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