Fire destroys Wasaga Beach home
J.T. MCVEIGH/ENTERPRISE-BULLETIN No one was injured in a house fire that completely destroyed a home on River Road West in Wasaga Beach Thursday evening. The fire was challenging with high winds and a squall that limited visibility. Estimated damage is $350,000. The cause according to Deputy Fire Chief Craig Williams was fireplace ashes left outside that were reignited by Thursday night's high winds.
WASAGA BEACH - Ashes from a wood stove left in a container on the porch and reignited by Thursday evening’s high winds is the likely cause of a $350,000 fire at River Road West home in Wasaga Beach.
Wasaga Beach deputy fire chief, Craig Williams said the early evening fire was a challenging one for firefighters because of the squall-like conditions.
“It was extremely windy and of course the squall that blew in during the time of the fire didn’t help matters very much, It was a very difficult conditions with the wind and the near zero visibility,” said Williams. “The only the good news is that we were able to limit those exposures and it didn’t spread to the next house because the flames were actually touching the house on the east side when we got there.”
There was no one in the home at the time of the fire, the owner was notified by neighbours later. The resident’s pets, a dog and a cat, are presumed to have perished in the fire because they haven’t been located.
“In this case we were able to rely on witnesses statements from people who saw the fire very early and actually there are some photos that have been circulated on social media, so in looking at that and the physical structure of what’s left of it and corroborating that with statements from the owner we are able to give it a likely cause,” said Williams. “In this case the likely cause was wood stove ashes that were placed outside in a container and when the wind whipped up as it did last night. In all likelihood it (the hot ashes) came out of the container and set the house on fire.”
This is not the first fire Williams has seen because of improperly handled fireplace ashes.
“I have been to at lease a half a dozen fires that started in the same way,” said Williams.
“So lesson learned is just insuring that ashes that come out of the house are kept well away from the house and they should be completely saturated in water.”