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Equipment and property destroyed, but family home saved from large fire south of Stoughton

Family has endured a lot this year, and large grass fire has been another challenge.
The Lake family home was spared from fire damage, but other buildings and equipment were lost.

STOUGHTON - Cheryl Lake walked past a window in her home, glanced out to see smoke and immediately dialed 911. 

The Lake family has had a horrible 2022 and they frankly cannot wait until this year is behind them. 

Earlier this year, her husband Jonathan was diagnosed with metastatic adenocarcinoma, a form of colon cancer that had spread to his lungs. He is now on his third round of chemotherapy. 

The family has lost two beloved pets this year as well, their dog Diesel and their cat Oreo. 

Last month, Jonathan’s dad Cliff Lake passed away.

“I am not sure how much more we can take,” said Cheryl.

At 12:45 p.m. on Oct. 13, Stoughton Tecumseh Fire and Rescue was dispatched to a fire that was located north on Lake’s property. The Lakes live eight kilometres south of Stoughton on a farm. 

Boyd Charles, a neighbour to the south, was the first to arrive, and said the fire spread quickly. It jumped to his land, and he managed to keep it under control. 

According to Fire Chief Pat Slater, this should have been a small manageable fire and easily controlled, but due to the high winds it turned into a major operation.  

Sixteen members from the department were on scene, along with Crescent Point Energy personnel and water trucks. 

As the fire grew, so did her fear of her home going up in flames. She quickly packed CDs that contained family pictures, along with some personal items and her beloved pets, and was ready to evacuate if needed. 

Their home remained safe, but they lost a lot of equipment and the old truck that belonged to Jonathan’s dad, and many other memorable items from the family farm. 

During this time, Cheryl’s mom Lynn MacDougall and her sister Candice Martin were on their way from Prince Albert and Regina to give her the support she needed. The family stayed in Stoughton for the night. 

The fire took eight hours to extinguish, and the cause is still undetermined. 

As of Saturday afternoon, a fire department member and the Lake family were keeping a close eye on the hotspots.

Slater said a contingency plan is in place in case of a flare up. 

In the early hours of Monday morning, Jonathan awoke and checked out the east window. He saw a huge glow of orange. The fire had engulfed two old barns on the north side of the property. Once again, their neighbour Boyd Charles came with his tractor and bucket to push trees away so they would not ignite. Once again 911 was called and the Stoughton department was quick to respond. 

The area where the fire is having issues is in an old corral where the manure has sat for a while. The same area received 40 cubes of water and it is still smouldering, and could do so for some time. It took another four hours to contain the second fire. 

The Lake family is extremely thankful and grateful to the quick response of the Stoughton Tecumseh Fire Department, neighbours, Crescent Point Energy and the community for all the help and care. 

The Stoughton Tecumseh Fire Department is thankful for all that helped with equipment and water trucks. Slater said, “It is extremely difficult to contain a fire in that much wind.” 

A complete fire ban has been issued for the R.M. of Tecumseh and Slater said that Stoughton usually piggy backs that ban as well. 


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