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Crowsnest Pass RCMP notice for July 17 accident on Highway 3 near Lundbreck, between Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass

Highway 3 open after Wednesday night collision near Lundbreck

| RCMP have confirmed a fatality and multiple injuries in this accident.

Update: Highway 3 is now open in both directions.

Original post:

Traffic between Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass is being diverted due to a serious motor-vehicle collision on Highway 3 at Range Road 25, east of the weight scales near Lundbreck.

Eastbound traffic is being directed to Highway 507 through Pincher Creek.

Westbound traffic is being diverted to Pincher Creek via Highway 6, then west on Highway 507.

Please use caution travelling in the area.

Crowsnest Pass RCMP reported the incident around 8 p.m. on July 17, 2024. No further details have been provided.

 

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Exterior view of Triple T Energy building in Pincher Creek

New Pincher Creek fire hall location chosen

A new, larger fire hall and ambulance station to replace their cramped space is something first responders in Pincher Creek have long been hoping for. As of last week, that’s now becoming a reality.

“This is very exciting for our department as we make the move towards a bigger facility,” Chief Pat Neumann said Friday after receiving the keys to the former Triple T Energy Services building on Hunter Street.

“This is something that’s been much-needed for a long time.”

The new Pincher Creek Emergency Services home, just east of the RCMP detachment off Highway 6, will get some modifications and renovations. For now, however, there’s no set timeline.

“All of our equipment [from the hall on Charlotte Street], we’re going to try and reuse and take what we can out of the existing facility, and that includes all of our apparatus and tools,” Neumann said.

A larger space will create a safer working environment for staff and the department’s volunteer core, he added, and a fenced compound next door will provide the means to carry out practice training on such things as vehicle extrications.

The new facility was also chosen for its location.

“It was one of the things we considered when we looked at a new hall,” Neumann said. “No. 1, highway access for our equipment to get where it needed to go, and second, easy access for our crews to get here quickly from their homes.”

 

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Dave Cox, MD of Pincher Creek reeve and a former fire chief, is also thrilled to see the possibilities the new building will bring.

“We need the floor space. The current building is 40 years old and our crews are literally stepping on bumpers to get from one lane to another because there is so little room,” Cox said.

“We’ve renovated that building quite a few times, taking recreation space, turning it into living space and office space. We’ve pretty much made the best use of that building as we could, so this [new] opportunity will be good for us.”

Pincher Creek Mayor Don Anderberg agrees.

“One of the big issues we’ve got is space and an older building, so having the chance to buy this building and the property that goes with it is a real plus. It’s been on the radar screen for a long time, knowing that we’re going to have to do something, renovate the old building and add space or go to a new facility,” the mayor said.

“So, when this building came up for sale, we looked at it and saw that it could be a really good fit for what we envisioned for the future.”

The current facility at 655 Charlotte St., in place as a hall since the early 1980s, has brought with it some limitations over time, Anderberg added.

“One thing that has been talked about over the years is a ladder truck. [We] weren’t able to accommodate that in the existing hall, so it gives lots of opportunities for future growth and change.”

 

 

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Crowsnest Pass RCMP notice for July 17 accident on Highway 3 near Lundbreck, between Pincher Creek and Crowsnest Pass

Magrath man dies in avalanche near Castle Mountain

A backcountry avalanche claimed the life of a 46-year-old Magrath man Saturday afternoon.

Crowsnest Pass RCMP reported that two adult males and two children were snowmobiling between Carbondale and Castle Mountain Ski Resort when an avalanche occurred.

RCMP say one of the men escaped with the children but the second male was buried in the snow. 

The incident was reported to Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek RCMP around 6 p.m., and an investigation determined the incident took place at approximately 1 p.m.

Pincher Creek RCMP recovered the body of the missing male early Sunday afternoon with assistance from Southwest Alberta Regional Search and Rescue, Fernie Search and Rescue K9 and handler, and Alberta Conservation.

Condolences are extended to the family and friends of the deceased.

 

Aerial view of the Cowley Lions Campground on the Castle River in southwestern Alberta

 

Ace of spades card on ad for Chase the Ace at the Pincher Creek Legion

 

Gavel rests on sounding block on a table.

Bail hearing for Michael Patterson pushed back four weeks

A 35-year-old Pincher Creek man, accused of setting fires that destroyed two buildings in the community Jan. 9, will remain in custody until at least Feb. 15.

Michael Patterson, who appeared for a bail hearing Thursday, Jan. 18, via closed-circuit television from Lethbridge Correctional Centre, is charged with two counts of arson and separate charges of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and disarming/attempting to disarm a peace officer.

Citing the Crown’s opposition to Patterson’s immediate release back into the community, defence counsel Vincent Guinan made an application to adjourn the matter for four weeks. The motion was approved by Justice Grace Auger. 

Patterson confirmed to the court his willingness to remain in custody, known as remand by consent, until his next appearance, also to be by video link, Feb. 15 in Pincher Creek court of justice.

 

Table setting of wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.
Electrical sparks fly as a building burns.

Arson behind destruction of home and business, authorities say

A Pincher Creek man is before the courts after two buildings in the community were destroyed by fire in separate incidents Jan. 9.

Michael Patterson, 35, is charged with two counts of arson in connection with blazes that broke out just minutes apart at Dano’s Hydro Heaven, at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street downtown, and inside a home in the 600 block of Adelaide Street.

Investigation indicated that accelerants had been used at both locations, Pincher Creek RCMP said.

Patterson also faces charges of assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and disarming/attempting to disarm a peace officer at the time of his arrest while fleeing the scene of the residential fire.

Specific details have yet to be released, but witnesses to the downtown fire said they heard a large blast just after 5 p.m., the impact buckling the west wall of the hydroponics business.

Fire crews arriving on scene faced a fully involved blaze and could do little to save the building. Their efforts prevented the fire’s spread to other businesses and homes.

 

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Firefighter hoses down blaze at Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek

Photo by Cary Robison

 

A nearby connection hub that provides Shaw phone and internet service was damaged, resulting in a community-wide outage for Shaw customers that lasted into Wednesday. 

Flames and smoke from the house fire, at its height, could be seen for several blocks east and west.

While no estimates were given, damage to the two destroyed buildings is likely in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Patterson was to make his first court appearance Jan. 11 via closed circuit video, but “wasn’t able to be produced,” duty counsel Vincent Guinan told Justice J.N. LeGrandeur in Pincher Creek court of justice during a scheduled bail hearing.

Patterson was under guard in a Lethbridge hospital but there was no indication of his condition.

His court appearance was rescheduled for Monday in Lethbridge.

 

 

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Flames engulf black silhouette of Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek

Alleged arsonist misses court appearance

Michael Patterson, scheduled to appear in Pincher Creek court of justice today on arson charges, was a no-show.

Duty counsel Vincent Guinan told Justice J.N. LeGrandeur that Patterson, expected to attend via closed-circuit television, “wasn’t able to be produced.”

Reportedly under guard at Chinook Regional Hospital in Lethbridge, Patterson’s condition is unknown.

The 35-year-old Pincher Creek man is charged with two counts of arson after separate fires were reported at a home and a business around 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Pincher Creek Emergency Services was called first to a fire at Dano’s Hydro Heaven at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street in downtown Pincher Creek and minutes later to a house fire in the 600 block of Adelaide Street.

The structures were destroyed and Pincher Creek RCMP said in a press release Thursday that the investigation revealed accelerant use in both instances.

RCMP said Patterson was apprehended while fleeing the scene of the residential fire. Along with arson, he was charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and disarming/attempting to disarm a peace officer.

The court has also processed a no-contact order against the accused.

A show-cause hearing, which will determine if Patterson can be released from custody, has been rescheduled for Monday, Jan. 15, in Lethbridge.

 

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RCMP officer in cruiser speaks to arson suspect in the back seat

Arson charges laid in Pincher Creek fires

Michael Patterson, 35, of Pincher Creek has been charged with two counts of arson after separate fires destroyed a home and a business on Jan. 9.

Pincher Creek Emergency Services was called first to a fire at Dano’s Hydro Heaven at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street in downtown Pincher Creek and minutes later to a house fire in the 600 block of Adelaide Street.

The structures were completely destroyed and investigation revealed accelerant use in both instances, Pincher Creek RCMP said.

Patterson was apprehended by police while fleeing the scene of the residential fire, RCMP said. Along with arson, he is charged with assaulting a peace officer with a weapon and disarming/attempting to disarm a peace officer.

Patterson was remanded into custody after a judicial interim release hearing and appears in court today, Jan. 11, 2024.

 

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Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek fully engulfed in flames in the darkness on Jan. 9, 2023.

Pincher Creek fire crews respond to two fires just minutes apart

An investigation is underway into the cause of two fires late Tuesday afternoon in Pincher Creek.

The blazes, reported just minutes apart, happened at a home in the 600-block of Adelaide Street and a business at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street.

“This one [Dano’s Hydro Heaven] was our first reported structure fire on which we received multiple call-ins,” explained fire Chief Pat Neumann Tuesday evening. “As we arrived on scene, we got reports of a second structure fire.”

Officials are looking into a possible connection.

While more details are expected in the coming days, Neumann confirmed the first 911 calls of the downtown blaze came in at about 5:05 p.m.

Smoke and, eventually, flames could be seen coming from the building following a large blast that buckled its west wall. This gained the attention of people at nearby businesses, including staff at Canada Post, and those walking in the area.

 

 

Neumann said Pincher Creek Emergency Services crews from Pincher Creek, Beaver Mines and Lundbreck were called out. Mutual aid was also provided on the house fire by Cowley Fire Rescue, while paramedics from Pincher Creek and Peigan District Ambulance Service in Brocket were dispatched to administer medical aid.

RCMP from Pincher Creek and the Piikani Nation were also at the scene of both fires to help with traffic control.

Witnesses report seeing a handcuffed male inside a police cruiser near the Adelaide Street blaze, but authorities have yet to confirm if the person or persons responsible have been taken into custody.

Both structures were completely destroyed and, at this point, it’s too early to determine the cost of damage in either case.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

 

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Pincher Creek Emergency Services on scene of two separate fires

Fire, ambulance and RCMP in Pincher Creek are on full alert at this hour after two separate blazes broke out in the community late Tuesday afternoon.

While exact details have yet to be confirmed by authorities, Shootin’ the Breeze can report that a home in the 600-block of Adelaide Street and a business at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street are fully ablaze and both have been completely destroyed.

For now, RCMP have closed off streets near the fires to keep the public safely away from any dangers.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

 

 

Flames light a dark blue sky from a home burning on Adelaide Street in Pincher Creek on Jan. 9.

Structure fire in the 600-block of Adelaide Street, as seen from the Hewetson Avenue bridge.

Photo by Dave Lueneberg

Billows of flame and smoke from a fire at Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek on Jan. 9

Fire engulfed Dano’s Hydro Heaven, at the corner of East Avenue and Kettles Street, shortly after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 9. This photo, taken just after 6 p.m., shows large flames behind RBC on Main Street even an hour later.

Photo by Dave Lueneberg

Dano's Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek engulfed in flames.

Dano’s Hydro Heaven in Pincher Creek has been destroyed by fire.

Photo by Dennis Robin

 

Pig roast at wedding venue — the Cowley Lions Campground Stockade near Pincher Creek in southwestern Alberta.

 

 

 

 

 

Auto-Pulse unit, which automates chest compressions, demonstrated on a manequin torso.

Beaver Mines first responders now equipped with AutoPulse unit

It’s known as AutoPulse — an automated, portable, battery-powered device that can help first responders in lifesaving efforts.

Like a person performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the unit, when connected to the patient, provides chest compressions and, if needed, administers electric shocks, just like a defibrillator might, but saving valuable time in the process.

With a price tag of nearly $17,000, the cost can be out of reach for many fire departments and ambulance operations in small communities, particularly if they cover a large area, and when more than one might be needed.

Thankfully, though, through a recent donation by one local business, Pincher Creek Emergency Services has been able to acquire a second such unit, strategically placing it at its Beaver Mines fire hall operation.

“With the growing number of users in the backcountry and with the population aging, it’s just one more tool we can use to get the people the help they need,” said PCES fire Chief Pat Neumann.

“We’ve done the research and we know it makes a difference and increases the chances of positive patient outcomes, and for us, with the help of our donors, it’s a wise investment.”

 

 

The first unit, already being used in Pincher Creek, has yielded at least two positive outcomes in its time.

“This is an important piece of equipment for our local responders,” said Wendy Desjarlais, Vision Credit Union’s Pincher Creek branch manager, after seeing a demonstration of the AutoPulse in action.

“Especially, where the population at Castle Mountain can explode over the winter, as they said here, to 2,500. There’s so much risk of injury. The fact that this location [Beaver Mines] can respond so much faster and stabilize people so much faster is crucial. You never know. It could help someone you or I know and love.”

Earlier this year, Vision Credit Union presented a cheque for $10,000 to PCES toward the purchase of the unit, a key piece of equipment Division 3 Coun. Dave Cox is glad to see in the fire hall’s arsenal.

“This [unit] will really enhance the capability of our fire-ambulance rescue service in our community. To have this tool in our remote station will really be a benefit,” said Cox, a former fire chief for the region, but also someone who got his start at the Beaver Mines hall.

“The key is timely intervention and anything that comes out of Pincher Creek is 10, maybe 15 minutes out, depending on how fast they can drive, and that’s really the survival window for someone who’s in cardiac arrest.”

And, response time from Pincher can be doubled or tripled, with poor road conditions, if the call is out at Castle Mountain.

While the hope is the unit is never needed, there’s every indication that it will be, and with that in mind, Chief Neumann, knowing its value, is already focusing on adding at least two more units to the fleet — one for the Lundbreck hall, the other for Pincher Creek.