$400,000 damage in Abby blaze
An Abbotsford family is thankful everyone is safe after a blaze Christmas Day destroyed a machine shop and caused $400,000 damage.
Jocelyn Timmermans said her husband looked out the window of their family home around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to see flames popping up above the roof of the shed located on the other side the field.
The Timmermans, who run a family landscaping business, phoned 911 and ran across to the shop situated at 1900 of the Inter-Provincial Highway.
“The fire went up so quickly. It was amazing,” said Timmermans.
“You’re just standing there in awe.”
At first the family feared someone was in the shop.
“We were concerned there was someone in the building, but we realized his truck wasn’t there,” she said.
“There would have been nothing we could have done to save him.”
Her husband and sons then tried to rescue some of the heavy equipment next to the shop, Timmermans said.
“They did manage to pull a tractor away,” she said.
“My son tried to rescue [a Bobcat], but I was screaming at him to get out of there.”
Timmermans said it wasn’t worth risking lives to save equipment.
“That’s the thing,” she said. “When you see it happening, you realize in seconds where your priorities are.”
Fire crews arrived on scene to find the structure engulfed in flames.
Firefighters worked to protect a nearby greenhouse and office before concentrating on extinguishing the fire.
Timmermans said everything in the shop was destroyed.
The company lost two Bobcats, a forklift, smaller tools such as leaf blowers and lawn mowers, as well as stockpiles of seed and fertilizer.
Fire investigators suspect an unattended space heater caused the fire.
Preliminary estimates of damages to the building and contents are approximately $400,000.
The family will have to rebuild the business, Timmermans said.
“We’ll find out today (Thursday) what insurance will cover,” she said.
“I m just feeling thankful; it could have been worse.”