On Friday September 18 passers-by walking their dog in the 900 block of Dombroskie Road spotted smoke billowing out the eaves of a garage and flames shooting out near the roof. They alerted the homeowners who immediately vacated the house with their dog. One of the owners moved his car out of the attached garage away from the fire area. Then they waited for the Madawaska Valley Fire Department (MVFD) at a neighbour’s house across the road. MVFD responded with three pumpers, two tankers, two rescue trucks and 19 fire fighters.
When fire fighters arrived at the scene, the roof of the garage had already collapsed and the fire had spread into the area of the house. Fire on the north side of the house cause flames to shoot out of the eaves. The flames reached a height of 40 feet and nearby red pine trees caught on fire. Fire fighters used tankers to shuttle water to the scene from a nearby creek, as well as from a high speed pump set up in Wadsworth Lake. MV fire fighters used two methods to extinguish the fire:
- a defensive attack (surround and drown); and
- an interior attack (entering the building).
Smoke alarms critical to prevent injury and loss
An interview with the owner revealed he had been clearing out the garage and when he left it at 2:30 p.m. there was nothing wrong. Yet, one hour and 20 minutes later, there was a fire. MV Fire Chief Corwin Quade said, “This is why it is so important to have smoke alarms installed all through homes. This house did have alarms and they did go off once smoke entered the living area of the home.“
No one was injured in the fire but the house sustained major damage. The estimated loss is $280,000 and the residents did have fire insurance.The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Right now it appears to have been an electrical issue that started the fire. The Ontario Fire Marshal was not contacted as this fire is not suspicious.
Quade,C., Madawaska Valley Fire Department(2020,Sept.21) Cottage fire at Wadsworth Lake [media release]