Update on Haughton Street fire

Two firefighters try to beat back the quickly spreading flames inside a home on Haughton Street in St. Andrews West on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

ST. ANDREWS WEST – South Stormont Fire Chief Gilles Crepeau says damage in a weekend house fire in St. Andrews West is upwards of $400,000

The fire raced through the single-storey home on Haughton Street just after 11 p.m. Sunday, levelling the structure.

Nobody was home at the time of the fire and it’s believed there were no pets.

“She’s (the homeowner) obviously very upset that she’s lost everything. The house was fully insured (but) it’s so sad when you see things like that (someone losing their life possessions),” Crepeau told Cornwall Newswatch.

A cause has not been determined but the township fire prevention office is still working on the file. “We’re trying to piece things together with the homeowner but it’s not suspicious,” the chief said.

A neighbour and Cornwall firefighter – Michael Wheeler – saw the fire, broke down a door and did a quick search before flames became too much for him.

While the chief commends Wheeler’s actions and describes it as an instinctive trait in a professional firefighter, he strongly cautions anybody not to go into a burning building.

“We’re certainly appreciative of his efforts even though we’re not recommending anybody to run into a (burning) home. As I said, I’m not recommending anybody to do that for the simple reason we’ve asked people not to go back into a fire so I don’t want this to be a trend,” Crepeau explained.

Crepeau said he will be discussing the possibility of a commendation with South Stormont council.