Two early morning fires keep crews busy in Muskoka region
A burned out mattress can be seen in Huntsville, Ont. on Wednesday, April 8, 2015. (Chief Stephen Hernen/ Huntsville Fire Department)
Firefighters in Muskoka region had their hands full after two early morning fires on Wednesday.
The first fire broke out at a Huntsville home around 3 a.m. Fire officials say when they arrived the family of four was standing outside their house with a burning mattress on the front lawn.
The four residents were treated for minor burns and smoke inhalation. Fire investigators say careless smoking is to blame.
In Gravenhurst, all that's left of the cottage is the concrete foundation and the brick chimney.
“We would have to approximate that the fire had been burning anywhere from four to six hours before we received the call,” says Tracy Jocque, training officer with the Gravenhurst Fire Department.
The call for the fire came in at around 6:30 a.m. on Wednesday from someone across the lake, but because of the cottage’s remote location, it took crews about 30 minutes to find the burning building.
“One of the big problems that we have in Muskoka is all of the tree cover. So when you see smoke you don't necessarily know where it is coming from,” says Jocque. “We are all doing a visual; going in different locations, different roads, trying to make that determination.”
No one was inside at the time and the cause is still unknown. This is just the latest in several fires this winter in Muskoka.
“There isn't anybody in the Muskoka area that has not been running structure calls all winter,” says Jocque. “If it's not Gravenhurst, it's Bracebridge. If it's not Bracebridge, it's Huntsville.”
As for the fire near Gravenhurst, investigators will begin to sift through the charred debris looking for clues that may help determine what caused the fire.