MOUNT HANLEY, N.S. - A man and his 18-year-old daughter are homeless after a fire, that started in the kitchen, got out of control and destroyed their Fundy shore house Sunday evening.
Port Lorne Volunteer Fire Department Chief Stephen Wade was first on the scene and said the house was fully engulfed in flame with the roof falling in when he arrived.
Firefighters from across Annapolis County battled the fire at 443 Ween Street, just off Shore Road East.
The call came in to Port Lorne firefighters at about 7:30 p.m. Oct. 21 with Lawrencetown and Bridgetown also called.
“It came in as a kitchen fire that was starting to get out of control,” said Wade. “I was first on scene. When I arrived the windows were all already out of the house and the roof was already in the middle of caving in. It was already a big orange glow on the horizon as soon as you came over the hill. It was over before we got there.”
Wade said the daughter was at home and went to her uncle’s house nearby and he called 911. The father was not home but arrived at the fire scene later in the evening.
Lawrencetown’s aerial truck was able to set up and get water on the blaze, while firefighters used hoses from the ground as well, surrounding the structure.
“Port Lorne’s main pumper truck was pushing water to the aerial putting water on the fire,” Wade said.
Firefighters got water from a location down Mount Hanley Road and formed a tanker relay with numerous trucks shuttling water to the scene.
Wade had called a second alarm to get up to nine tankers on the scene to keep their collapsible tank full of water at all times. A mix up somewhere in the chain of calls led to even more tankers rushing to the scene.
“Someone said ‘Bear River’s tanker just got here’ and I said ‘what?’ That’s when we realized we had 15 tankers,” said Wade. And that’s when he sent some of them home.
Wade said that while they had to travel to get the water, it didn’t hamper their efforts to control the fire. They had plenty of water.
“We’re actually right in the middle of putting a dry hydrant down in that area right now,” Wade said. “We just got a quote from a landowner to allow us to put a dry hydrant on his land and that’s in the works right now.”
The building was a large two-storey house with veranda. Wade said there were no pets in the house.
Wade said that although the building was fully engulfed, crews worked hard to minimize the damage.
“You’re trying to save as much as possible for insurance purposes so they can do an investigation if they feel they need to, and saving exposed buildings,” Wade said. “There were several buildings there that were at high risk of being lost.”
The chief said he’s not aware of any sort of investigation.
“I’ve done my report and sent it off to the Fire Marshal’s office and I’m basically waiting to hear back from him,” Wade said. He said he did not know if the house was insured.
Trucks from Kingston, Margaretsville, Middleton, Nictaux, Annapolis Royal, and Bear River were also on the scene. Nova Scotia Power was also called out and an RCMP officer was there.
Firefighters were still on the scene late into the night.
The homeowner and his daughter are staying with nearby relatives for now, and are being helped by the Canadian Red Cross with emergency purchases like clothing, food, and other essentials, said Red Cross spokesman Dan Bedell.