Fire rips through garage of West Hants home

Carole Morris-Underhill
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Published on February 15, 2014

Captain Daniel Lavers smashes out windows as the Windsor Fire Department worked to save this home on Tonge Hill Road.

Published on February 15, 2014

Windsor firefighters work to beat back the flames that were coming from this garage Feb. 15.

Published on February 15, 2014

A Brooklyn firefighter hauls hose line. Both Brooklyn and Hantsport fire departments were called in for mutual aid Feb. 15 as Windsor battled a house fire on Tonge Hill Road.

Published on February 15, 2014

Windsor and Brooklyn firefighters work together to extinguish a fire that caused considerable damage to a home on Tonge Hill Road Feb. 15.

Published on February 15, 2014

Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess speaks with Cpt. Daniel Lavers about the fire Feb. 15 as fellow firefighters wait to head into the home.

Published on February 15, 2014

Windsor and Brooklyn firefighters work together to extinguish a fire that caused considerable damage to a home on Tonge Hill Road Feb. 15.

Published on February 15, 2014

New Windsor firefighter Brandon Doumichelle hauls more hose to the scene Feb. 15.

Published on February 15, 2014

Safety officer Tony Smith and Capt. Ian Duey discuss the Feb. 15 fire as firefighters work to douse the remaining hot spots.

Published on February 15, 2014

Hantsport firefighters provided mutual aid as Windsor battled a house fire on Tonge Hill Road Feb. 15.

Published on February 15, 2014

Windsor firefighters work to douse the remaining hot spots in the garage of this Tonge Hill Road residence Feb. 15.

Published on February 15, 2014

Captain Daniel Lavers and Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess stand near the smouldering remains of a garage Feb. 15. About 24 Windsor firefighters attended the early afternoon call, as well as about a dozen from Brooklyn and Hantsport.

Published on February 15, 2014

Driver Chris Sullivan checks the gauges on the pump panel of the fire truck for the different hose lines Feb. 15 as firefighters work to extinguish a blaze on Tonge Hill Road.

Published on February 15, 2014

Fire Chief Scott Burgess and Deputy Fire Chief Jamie Juteau talk in the driveway of a home severely damaged by fire Feb. 15.

UPDATED: Feb. 16

An afternoon house fire that appears to have started in a garage has left a West Hants couple with two small children without a place to call home.

Windsor firefighters were called out to combat a structure fire Saturday, Feb. 15, on Tonge Hill Road around 12:45 p.m. When they arrived on scene, flames were coming through the garage doors.

“First report was smoke showing, then flame through the roof, so it was definitely going for a bit,” said Windsor Fire Chief Scott Burgess.

“Luckily there was no one home (and) the car was not in the yard.”

About two dozen Windsor firefighters attended the blaze, and an additional 10 or so remained at the station on standby.

Mutual aid was requested from Brooklyn and Hantsport fire departments. The RCMP provided traffic control and Nova Scotia Power arrived to cut the power to the home.

“We suppressed the fire before it entered the main part of the house. It just broke through,” said Burgess.

The fire chief said the home sustained “heavy damage” but could be salvaged. However, Burgess said, it might be cheaper to build anew.

“I'd be guessing unrepairable based on the dollars of damage. Structurally, most of it is still intact.”

The couple, who were renting the home, did not have insurance.

According to the Red Cross, the couple, and their children – a 20-month-old boy and a seven-year-old boy – are staying with relatives, and are receiving help from the organization as the family lost most of their belongings.

Although the fire department is investigating the fire, Burgess said it doesn't appear to be suspicious.

Scott Caldwell, a veteran firefighter with the Windsor Fire Department, was one of the local residents who called 911. He said they initially thought the light smoke was from burning brush. But then he heard “a few pops and bangs,” which he said was likely the fire reaching something combustible, followed by dark plumes of smoke and fire.

“It just excelled the fire into a pretty big fire ball,” he said.

Caldwell helped direct traffic while the fire trucks arrived on scene.

“The main thing was to keep traffic flowing until the fire department got here and then I just tried to stop traffic down so they could have a safe work area,” Caldwell said.

“Once the fire department got here, they got on the fire right away.”

Burgess said traffic is one of the many challenges the fire department faces when heading out on a call.

“A big black column of smoke attracts a lot of people,” Burgess said, noting that getting in the way of fire trucks delays their response time.

“There are more apparatus that come into these scenes all the time. Please stay back, give the right of way, and let us do our job.”

 

Organizations: RCMP, Nova Scotia Power, Windsor Fire Department

Geographic location: Windsor, Tongue Hill Road, West Hants Brooklyn Hantsport

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Recent comments

  • RA
    February 16, 2014 - 08:26

    In life there are people that want to help, then there are those that want to show off. Some of the Windsor Fire Dept. consists of show offs. When West Hants has its own station, we will weed the show offs from our recruitment process.

    • Ryan
      February 17, 2014 - 16:27

      That's kind of a d*** thing to say. How exactly were they show offs in this incident? I'm sure IF your little West Hants Dept had responded to this it would have been just a foundation saved....

    • jl
      February 18, 2014 - 10:56

      how can you call them showoffs? they are the best volunteer fire dept in north america . as for the new west hants station pffft wont happen the west hants councel is in for a big rude wakeup call next election out with the OLD in with the NEW and YOUNG people that want west hants to progress not just keep falling into the abyss of the old gang

  • Arlene Williams
    February 15, 2014 - 20:22

    To bad this was posted before the whole family was even aware!