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Too early to determine cause of Bowden garage fire

Red Deer County fire inspector Scott Tuton says no firefighters or residents were hurt as a result of the April 22 Bowden blaze
MVT Bowden garage fire aftermath 2022
The aftermath of the garage fire that occurred April 22 at 2032 19th Avenue in Bowden. Submitted photo

BOWDEN— It’s too early to say what caused a fire that destroyed a garage and shed Friday night in Bowden, according to Red Deer County fire inspector Scott Tuton.  

Tuton says he’s still waiting for an insurance company inspector to file a report before he can determine the cause of the April 22 fire. He said that could anywhere from a week to a month or so. 

About a dozen firefighters from Bowden, Innisfail and Red Deer County were called to the blaze at 2032 19th Avenue at around 9 p.m. Tuton says firefighters managed to put out the blaze before it could reach the house. 

“It got stopped just as the siding on the house was getting ready to start on fire,” he said during an interview. “All the siding’s melted off that exposed sides of the garage but it didn’t get into the house, so the house is intact.” 

No firefighters or residents were hurt. Tuton says a neighbour called and helped evacuate residents after seeing the flames. 

He says it took about three hours to put out the blaze.  

“It kept firing up because it was still being fed with the gas and whatnot so there were some hotspots in there,” Tuton said. They had to dig under the hotspots to get it completely out before I could go in.” 

He said employees from gas and electric companies were called in to turn off the gas and disconnect the wires. 

So far, no damage estimate has been determined because Tuton is waiting for the insurance report.  

Tuton says this is about the fifth garage/shed fire to occur in Bowden since Jan. 1. 

He was asked if that’s an unusual number of fires for the community. 

“There’s no rhyme or reason to fires. I’ve had rotations – like, with my on-call rotation – where I’ve had three in a week,” he said. “There’s no predicting them. You can go a year without one, so you just don’t know.” 

Tuton was asked if he suspects an arsonist might be sparking the fires. 

“No, not at this time we’re not looking at that,” he said.