Community's generosity helps fire victims
"More than enough" donations received
Residents within the Tri-Municipal Region responded quickly and generously to help those affected by a massive fire that ravaged an apartment building in Stony Plain Thursday evening. So many items were received, that the immediate needs of have been met; at this point, no more donations are required. A needs-assessment is now being conducted to determine and prioritize what other items may be needed in the long-term.
However, many families still require financial support, and a trust fund has been set up for this cause. Monetary donations can be dropped off at front reception of Stony Plain FCSS, located on the 2nd Floor of the Town Office (4905 – 51 Ave.) in Stony Plain during regular office hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday). Please make cheques payable to “Sonora Fire Victims.” Alternatively, donations can be made to Alberta Red Cross at 780.423.2680 or online.
“We are continually amazed at the generosity and selflessness of people in our communities, and we thank everybody for their concern and support,” says William Choy, mayor of Stony Plain. “The immediate needs of evacuees have been looked after, and resources are being accessed to determine the next steps. We thank the community for their help.”
A donation centre was set up at the local Royal Canadian Legion on Thursday evening, and items have been pouring in since it opened. Seven members from Alberta Red Cross will be in town until Monday morning, at which time Stony Plain and District Victims Services – which has also been working with residents since they were evacuated – will take over.
About the Fire
An early-evening fire on Thursday, May 9 destroyed 36 units in a Stony Plain apartment building, displacing 50 residents and at least five pets. Approximately 60 firefighting personnel from the Town of Stony Plain, the City of Spruce Grove and Parkland County battled the large structural fire for several hours. One person and several pets were rescued; however, no injuries or fatalities have been reported.
Crews were dispatched to Sonora Apartments, located at 4501-A Golf Course Rd., at approximately 6:45 p.m. One of the two three-story, multi-unit buildings was on fire. When firefighters arrived, the blaze was rapidly spreading eastward, due to high winds. Within minutes, the fire had consumed most of the building and was not under-control until later in the evening.
Residents from both buildings were evacuated, and Golf Course Rd. was closed in both directions for more than four hours. Residents from Building ‘A’ were allowed to return home later in the evening, while those from Building ‘B’ – the complex that burned – were left homeless. A reception centre was set up at the nearby public golf course clubhouse for approximately 20 people, where they were fed, attended to and registered with Stony Plain and District Victim Services. Lodging at local hotels was arranged for these residents; others stayed with family or friends.
Crews worked throughout the night to ensure the fire was completely extinguished and to commence mop-up. The cause of the fire, which is believed to have started on the exterior of the building, is not known and is under investigation. The total estimated monetary loss has also not yet been confirmed.