Feature Story                                                                                           Monday, November 25, 2013


Early Morning House Fire

Firefighters snuff blaze, rescue pets

Staff/Voice photos


A firefighter returns a cat to it's owner after a fire Sunday. Below, shaken residents hug after what could have been a deadly incident.


esidents of a home in the 46000 block of Margaret Ave. were jolted awake early Sunday by frantic pounding on their door.


Just after 5 a.m., an elderly woman, awoke to find the porch and back of her home engulfed in fire.


Realizing she had few precious minutes before the entire house went up, she left her dog and three cats behind and bolted next door for help.


The neighbours called 9-1-1, then emptied an extinguisher in a vain attempt to put the fire out and it continued to spread.


"We didn't know what was going on," the neighbour told the Voice. "Then we looked out and the whole back of the house was on fire."


Meanwhile, a neighbour to the North, came rushing over with a hand-held fire extinguisher and broke out a basement window in an attempt to rescue the dog.


"I had my extinguisher, but by the time I got here the fire was too big," he said.


James MacDonald, Assistant Chief, Emergency Program, said in a release Sunday that firefighters from Halls 1 and 4 were on-scene within 5 minutes, and that there were no civilian or firefighter injuries.


"The fire was quickly brought under control restricting damage to exterior of the home with only light smoke and water damage to a portion of the interior," said MacDonald. "The residents were home at the time of the fire and are currently in the care of Emergency Social Services."



The woman wasn't sure how the fire started. A few days earlier she saw something suspicious in the alley at the back of the property.


"Last week I put an old chair out back with a "free" sign on it and later noticed that someone piled up a bunch of pine needles around it like they were going to start a fire," she said.


Firefighters were able to retrieve the dog and at least one cat from the basement of the residence.


Editor's Note: The Voice has covered quite a few sofa and miscellaneous furniture fires in the downtown area over the last year. This could be indicative of a firebug with a penchant for abandoned furniture, so it may be a good idea to avoid leaving any furniture, or other combustibles, around where they could be torched.


See more photos below.


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