Heathland fire ruled accidental - Aug. 27, 2013
Firefighters mill around 116 Hall Road in Heathland, where a Sunday morning fire did extensive damage to the interior of this home. Access to the building was an issue for fire crews, as it was nestled in the woods with only a narrow driveway for access.
It was a tight squeeze, but local firefighters were still able to get the job done.
A Sunday morning fire at 116 Hall Road in Heathland presented the challenge of a house nestled in the woods directly behind a neighbouring property. The driveway was narrow, and followed a curving path up behind the neighbouring property, and tree branches came within feet of the building that was blazing on the inside.
“Access alone, it was an interesting one,” said St. Stephen Fire Chief Jeff Richardson. “You had to be three-quarters billy goat to get in there.”
Only one fire truck could be sandwiched up the driveway, but it proved enough for firefighters to be able to extinguish the blaze.
The call for the fire went out to emergency crews at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and they cleared the scene by 12:15 p.m. There were no injuries as a result of the fire. Oak Bay and Calais Fire departments provided mutual aid.
On a beautiful summer day, heat was a big concern for firefighters, Richardson said. From the shade of the tree canopy that hugged the building, firefighters had to face a hotter fire than usual when they entered the structure.
The home, Richardson said, was constructed using cedar finish and varnish, which triggered a hotter than typical house fire, but Richardson said firefighters faced no problems as a result.
The fire has been ruled as accidental in nature, and firefighters suspect the blaze was caused by a small appliance.
While the location of the home made getting equipment close enough to the house a challenge, the trees close by the home didn’t cause any additional problems or concerns, Richardson said.
“As long as the fire stays within the four walls, we don’t get too concerned about the woods,” said Richardson. “If it had broke out, we would have notified DNR.”
Flames did briefly lick out of some windows of the home, but never penetrated the exterior of the structure.