Lumsden retreat centre roof catches fire

Emergency crews responded to the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre after the roof caught fire Thursday morning.

Extra supports were called in as a precaution

The Lumsden and District Volunteer Fire Department has been busy with grass fires, but on Thursday they responded to a fire of a different kind — a roof fire. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

A Lumsden retreat centre — often considered a landmark of the surrounding valley —  caught fire on Thursday. 

It began in the roof at the The Living Skies Retreat Centre, according to Lumsden and District Fire Chief Jeff Carey. 

His department got the call around 10:15 a.m. CST and learned it was a structural fire. 

"We were definitely concerned when we arrived on scene of the fire getting away from us," Carey said. 
Lumsden Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeff Carey walks atop the The Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre after the fire was contained. (Matt Howard/CBC)

They called both the Regina Beach and the Regina departments in light of the recent grass fires that have plagued the area pair with due to dry, windy conditions. 

He said the fire was burning in an area between the roof and the ceiling, so it was difficult to assess how much was actually ablaze. 

The firefighters had to cut off a large portion of the roof to access it, he said. 

"There's quite a fair amount of fire damage, a lot of water damage, too, and there is a significant amount of smoke damage as well throughout the building," Carey said.

At the time he spoke with CBC, Carey had yet to determine the cause of the fire. He said there was work being done on the roof at the time.
The Living Skies Retreat Centre — often considered a landmark of the Lumsden Valley — caught fire on Thursday. (Kendall Latimer/CBC)

Carey said the department hasn't responded to a grass fire since Monday, but his team remains aware of the potential. 

"Conditions this year for grass fires are pretty extreme with all the dead fuel out there."
A fire fighter sweeps water off the roof of the Living Skies Retreat and Conference Centre. (Matt Howard/CBC)
A spokesperson for the Living Skies Retreat and Wellness Centre said the owner had advised staff not to comment and that the centre would issue a statement at a later time.
Fire burned between the roof and ceiling at the Living Skies Retreat and Wellness Centre in the Lumsden Valley. (Matt Howard/CBC)