At 5:16 pm on Friday, Feb.3 firefighters from both Halls of the Madawaska Valley Fire Dept. were despatched to a fire on Annie Mayhew Road in Combermere. On arrival, they found the house fully engulfed in flames and called for mutual assistance from the Brudenell Lyndoch Raglan Fire Dept. In all 29 firefighters attended (24 from MV and 5 from BLR) bringing with them two MV pumpers, two MV tankers, two BLR tankers, and an MV rescue truck. The property, owned by Neil Enright, was not occupied at the time of the fire.
MV Fire Chief Corwin Quade told The Current that over the course of four hours on site during one of the coldest evenings this winter — -28 C and wind chill -41 C — the firefighters worked to contain the blaze. The fire was under control after four hours, but by then the trucks and the dry hydrant had completely frozen. In addition to the significant hazards presented by the weather, there were propane tanks at the premises, Quade said.
The Ontario Provincial Police attended the scene of the fire, and the Ontario Fire Marshal was contacted but did not attend.
Quade reported that this was the first major loss fire in Madawaska Valley in three years, and he confirmed that the building was insured.
Pictures taken on arrival. Photos Madawaska Valley Fire Dept.
Last night it was -40dC by 2:00 am but even -28dC at 5:16 pm is bad enough:- your skin will start to hurt within 60 seconds of exposure and your fingers start to go numb so I’m not sure how the fire crew coped with it. I certainly hope no one suffered frostbite injuries or hypothermia.
In terrible conditions our volunteers come and do the best they can. We are so fortunate to have this Team of experienced and well trained professionals. Thank you for your service.