Fire destroys Newington area home

Flames shoot from the side of this home on Sandtown Road in South Stormont on Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2016. A self-cleaning oven is believed to be the cause of the fire. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

NEWINGTON – A self-cleaning oven is believed to have caused a house fire, west of the village, Tuesday afternoon.

South Stormont firefighters from three stations were called to 14862 Sandtown Road just after 2 p.m. Tuesday.

“I talked to the homeowner…he indicated to me that his wife had started the self-cleaning oven. He and his son were in the garage and the wife went to Cornwall. He walked into the house and the house was full of smoke so he took the dogs out, closed the doors and called the fire department,” South Stormont Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau told Cornwall Newswatch.

Crepeau said two firefighters tried to attack the blaze right away in the kitchen but it got into the balloon construction walls and travelled into the second storey and the attic.

The chief said there was a bit of a delay because they only had two men ready for an attack and needed a RIT (rapid intervention team) before making that initial attack. “We have a protocol where we needed a RIT team before we put anybody inside the house in case something happens…you need personnel to be a backup.”

“I sent in another crew (of two) to go to the second floor to check the attic area but the second floor had already burnt out, so we couldn’t make access to the second floor…the stairs were burnt out,” the chief said.

Crepeau said the tin roof, with singles and strapping underneath contained but also fueled the fire. “Once it got into that area, I called everybody out and we went into a defensive attack mode. There’s no way I was going to…take a chance of anybody getting injured at that time,” Crepeau told CNW.

Given the damage to the building an official cause won’t be possible, but Crepeau believes the stove is to blame given the information from the homeowner about the events leading up to the fire.

The two storey home with a single storey attached garage had been on the real estate market. The homeowners have other family members living on Sandtown Road.

Crepeau said their response time was “quick…station three responded, they were there within five minutes.”

The garage was saved due to a concrete wall between the main house and the garage while firefighters also protected other exposures, such as the house next door.

“The guys did a great job, nobody got hurt. The homeowner was happy with the job that he did and he understood what we had to do. He was a former firefighter. It’s unfortunate for the family they lost all their belongings, pictures and a lot of memories.”

On a bright note, neighbours brought in their pickup trucks and helped the homeowners collect a lot of their valuables from the garage and the flames ravaged the main building.

A backhoe was brought in later to turn over the rubble from the fire, allowing firefighters to douse the hot spots.

The scene will be turned over to the homeowner.

There were no injuries.

Cornwall-SDG Paramedic Service was on scene as a precaution.

The Newington area has seen its share of devastating news with at least three major house fires in the past year.

Click on an image below to open a gallery of photos from the scene.