Fire destroys home in Wasaga Beach, damages others
Published Monday, November 25, 2013 6:47AM EST Last Updated Monday, November 25, 2013 6:52PM EST
A devastating fire in Wasaga Beach has left one home destroyed and neighbouring structures damaged.
The fire happened overnight in a residential subdivision, with flames lighting up the sky and waking people who lived nearby.
It broke out at 3:30 a.m.
Troy Stephens paused to shoot a video as the house next door to his own burned to the ground. Stephens says his neighbours alerted him to get out.
“I got the phone call and somebody was pounding on my door,” he says. “I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ That’s our bedroom there and the blinds were down but all I could see was red on my window like the sun was blazing in there, so I got the girls out, grabbed our jackets and ran out of the house.”
When firefighters arrived, the house was already completely involved; fortunately the home at the centre of the fire was unoccupied. Fire Chief Mike McWilliam says the wind was fanning the flames.
“The wind is our enemy when we have a structure on fire to this extent because it just pushes it into the next house and in a subdivision like this it’s a recipe for disaster,” he says.
By sunrise the flames were out, but the intense heat of the fire still resulted in extensive damage to the neighbouring houses.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s office has been called in to investigate, but finding where the fire actually started is expected to be difficult because damage to the home is so extensive.
Heavy equipment was brought in to pull down the remaining walls but there is almost nothing left of the house at the centre of the fire. Neighbour Brian McCallum says he has never seen flames so intense
“The whole area was lit up like a big orange ball when I came out and saw all the people standing around,” he says. “It was engulfing with a big cascade of sparks going through the air too.”
At this point the fire is not considered suspicious. Damage is estimated at over $500,000 for all three homes involved.