By Lawrence Powell
A Port Lorne man was seriously injured in a shed fire and explosion this morning and was airlifted to Halifax from Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville.
The Spectator has learned that the man was seriously burned in the blast at 722 Brinton Road. Firefighters were called at 11:01 a.m.
EHS media spokesperson Stacey Brown confirmed that EHS received a call to Port Lorne at 11 a.m. and transported an adult male by ground ambulance to the Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville where he was taken by LifeFlight to the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax in serious condition.
Port Lorne Volunteer Fire Department Capt. Hilliard Ewing confirmed a generator was involved in the fire, adding that the fire marshal has been at the scene and is investigating. He said the home owner was in his house when the lights went out. He went outside to check on the generator to find the shed was in flames. Ewing said there was an explosion and the man was burned.
It was the second fire of the day for Port Lorne firefighters. The first call came at 5:11 a.m. A shed three or four feet from a house caught fire and crept across the space. The shed was in flames when firefighters arrive and had crept across the space to involve the house as well. Ewing said the shed couldn’t be saved and an excavator was called in to knock it down. There was fire damage to the back outside of the house and rooms inside at the back, plus water damage throughout the first level of the one-and-a-half storey house.
If that wasn’t enough, a third fire was called in after the Brinton Road fire at around noon. Ewing said a generator shed was on fire on Sand Lake Road.
On top of the three calls, power was off in Port Lorne from 12:22 a.m. It came back on in some areas at about 8 a.m. And firefighters fought the blazes in high winds and blowing snow and travelled on icy roads.
“We experienced freezing of equipment, such as nozzles, and it’s hard to contain lapping flames with high winds,” Ewing said.
When Port Lorne is called to a structure fire, Lawrencetown and Bridgetown are automatically called in to help out.
At the first fire, Middleton, Nictaux, Lawrencetown, Bridgetown, and Annapolis Royal were at the scene. Ewing said getting water at this time of year is a problem. Lawrencetown and Bridgetown provided both pumpers and tankers and the other departments provided tankers and more manpower.
At the second fire, Bridgetown still had a tanker in Port Lorne and brought their pumper back. Lawrencetown came back over the mountain with a their tanker and pumper as well.
In the third fire, it was again Port Lorne, Bridgetown and Lawrencetown – they were all still at the scene of the second fire – it was out and they proceeded to the third fire.
Ewing said firefighters finally got back to the hall at about 2 p.m.
He described the road conditions as terrible, but the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal helped out on that count by bringing a truck that stuck with the firefighters throughout the long ordeal.
“They did a marvelous job for us,” said Ewing. “They hovered back, but when we needed sand or salt they were right there.”
When firefighters called for an excavator, the DoT truck salted the mountain and escorted the truck carrying the machine right to the scene.
“They made sure he had good road conditions,” Ewing said.