Three accidental house fires in Annapolis Valley prompt N.S. fire officials to caution homeowners
HALIFAX -- Since Thursday, there have been three reported fires in Nova Scotia's Annapolis Valley.
In New Minas, two people have been displaced and a dog has died following a fire on Boxing Day at a mobile home.
"There were no injuries to the firefighters or the occupants of the home – obviously were away at the time,” says New Minas Fire Department chief James Redmond. “There was a dog that passed away due to smoke inhalation."
The cause of the fire is believed to be electrical in nature.
Nearby in Cambridge, Nova Scotia, a wood splitting business was destroyed by fire – also on Boxing Day.
"There was four farm tractors consumed in that fire, along with the building and the wood splitting operation equipment,” says Waterville and District Fire Department chief Wayne Johnstone.
The cause of the fire has been deemed accidental.
"One of the tractors had an extension cord being plugged in to be charged,” says Johnstone. “We're quite confident that that was the cause of that fire."
Within 24-hours, the same crew of volunteer firefighters were called to a fully engulfed fire at a two-storey Victorian-era home in Cambridge.
"It's about a century-year-old home; of course, there was additions and modifications and all that stuff,” says Johnstone. “That makes it more difficult. Once it gets into a balloon frame construction – it was just a difficult fire to fight."
Fortunately, the Canadian Red Cross is assisting the couple who lived in the two-storey home with emergency lodging, food and other purchases.
There were no serious injuries reported. However, the Red Cross notes one man had to be treated for slight burns and minor smoke inhalation after he tried to put out the fire himself.
"The homeowner attempted to extinguish the fire before exiting, but to no avail,” says Johnstone. “Smoke and heat drove him back – then he attempted to extinguish part of the fire that was on the exterior at that time, but it was no avail."
The third fire was also determined to be accidental. Officials believe it was caused by a wood stove – something fire officials warn the public to be cautious about when using.
"You can never be too careful,” says Johnstone. “Make sure you have your proper clearances and make sure that you're using approved equipment – and probably installed by proper people."