LUNENBURG — A fire which leveled a house and small business near here on Friday has been ruled accidental.
South Stormont Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau tells Cornwall Newswatch the fire at the home on Maloney Road started in an attached garage but the department was unable to determine the point of origin.
The house was also the home to Nature’s Way Pet Cemetery and Crematorium, a business for afterlife pet care.
Crepeau says the fire quickly spread from the garage to the main building, causing a series of roof collapses along the way.
The chief says the integrity of the structure meant firefighters could only battle the flames from the outside.
The official cause is listed as “undetermined” though, after speaking with the homeowners, it’s believed a wood stove was to blame.
Crepeau says the homeowners had started their wood stove and left to get groceries just before the fire.
While there were no human injuries, a number of animals including three dogs and two cats perished in the fire, Crepeau said.
South Stormont firefighters spent nearly five hours Friday afternoon putting out the blaze and trucked in over 3,000 gallons (13,600 liters) of water to pour on the fire.