A Windsor resident is homeless following an early morning house fire that saw area firefighters work feverishly to contain the flames from spreading to nearby properties.
The firefighters managed to save the neighbouring homes from extensive damage, however, the initial home, which was located on the corner of Wiley Ave. and Albert St. adjacent to the old Windsor legion building, could not be salvaged.
In an interview at the scene, Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess said the call for help came in at 4:24 a.m. Monday, April 21.
“What we understand is it started at the front of the structure and went into the whole structure. The one tenant that lived in the structure was able to get out,” Burgess said.
The fire chief said the man was unable to find his dog as he rushed from the burning building.
The resident was treated at the scene for minor burns, and the Canadian Red Cross is providing assistance.
Emelie DeMont, who lives on Albert St. behind the home, received a call alerting the family of the fire shortly after the fire started.
“When we opened our curtains and looked over, we thought it was the blue place that was on fire not the white one,” said DeMont.
She said the resident was lucky to get out of the burning home.
“The young fellow that was living there... came out with the shirt on his back and a pair of shorts on. He didn't even have shoes on. We gave him shoes so he'd have sneakers on his feet,” she said.
“Thankfully he got out and nobody was harmed.”
About three dozen firefighters from Windsor, Hantsport and Brooklyn responded to the emergency call.
Burgess said when he arrived on scene, the fire was starting to spread to the unoccupied duplex next door. In addition, the historic former Windsor legion property was at risk of catching fire as well.
Burgess said they evacuated the former legion building, which now serves as a multi-unit apartment complex, as a precaution due to the heat and close proximity of flames.
“We were fearful it was going to go that way if the wind changed,” said Burgess. “Luckily, what little breeze was blowing was working with us. It was holding it away from there.”
Burgess noted the home to the right of the one on fire received what was considered superficial damage.
“It burnt through the exterior wall in places and also burned up into the attic. We definitely had two structure fires on the go,” said Burgess.
The fire is under investigation at this time.
Representatives from Windsor's Department of Public Works and Nova Scotia Power also assisted the local fire department.
DeMont said she was initially concerned the fire would spread to their home and business. Those fears were eased once the firefighters were on scene. She commended the volunteers on their quick response and ability to contain the flames.
“It was just a great job done by the Windsor Fire Department and all those involved,” said DeMont, standing outside on her lawn. “They couldn't have been here in better time or looked after things in more of an efficient way. Thank God we have them.”