An early morning blaze at a farmhouse near the QEII highway caused significant damage to the abandoned structure.

At around 4:00 A.M., multiple travellers on the highway witnessed a fire north of the Balzac weigh station and called 911. Airdrie fire crews were dispatched to the area and located a farmhouse engulfed in flames near the intersection of RR 294 and Township Road 264.

The location of the fire was in the jurisdiction of the Rocky View County Fire Department and firefighters and water trucks were deployed from Balzac, Irricana and Crossfield to assist the Airdrie crews.

“From what I understand, this property hasn't had anybody living in it for some time,” said Rocky View County Fire Department Captain Ryan Poffenroth. “When we got on scene and realized it was abandoned, we weren't overly concerned with having to go inside and fight it offensively, we were defensive from the start.”

Crews extinguished the blaze and remained on scene for several hours to ensure hotspots did not reignite.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is underway. Fire crews have classified the fire as suspicious.