Flames race through Maple Avenue home
Sean Chase/Daily Observer Town of Petawawa firefighters responded to a structure fire at 12 Maple Avenue early Sunday morning. No one was home at the time. The blaze gutted the interior and caused a partial roof collapse.
PETAWAWA – Fire gutted the interior of a residential home on Maple Avenue early Sunday morning.
Town of Petawawa firefighters responded to the 911 call shortly after 3 a.m. The cause of the fire, which caused an estimated $200,000 in damages, is still under investigation.
Nine personnel and two apparatus were dispatched from the Victoria Street and Schwantz Road stations. When they arrived at 12 Maple Avenue, there was heavy smoke and flames coming from the back of the house. The fire generated an intense glow that could be seen from a distance.
“One of our guys was coming down Victoria Street to Station Two and he could see the flames and smoke from that far away,” said Capt. Brodie McDonald.
A four-man fire attack team rapidly entered into the four-level home which had been built in the mid-1970s. They found no one after searching the upstairs bedrooms. After confirming no one was home, the team withdrew when officials became concerned that the roof might cave-in.
“They didn't have much time,” explained Petawawa deputy fire chief Craig Proulx. “The fire was already running through the trusses of the roof. After the roof went up, we had to go into defensive mode.”
Members of the Upper Ottawa Valley detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police closed off Maple Avenue between Pine Place and Petawawa Boulevard for several hours. Fire officials later learned that the homeowners were on an overseas trip at the time.
The interior suffered severe flames and fire damage, while a back porch was completely destroyed. There was also a partial collapse of the roof. It firefighters more than two hours to bring the blaze under control.
This was the first serious structure fire in the town in some time, the deputy chief added. The department has been marking Fire Prevention Month during October promoting the importance of smoke and CO2 detectors in the home. Proulx noted that the smoke detectors in this residence were sounding when firefighters arrived.
Proulx said this incident underscores the importance of having a fire escape plan that identifies all possible exits and ensures that the home's occupants know two ways out of all areas, if possible. A plan should also have a safe rendevous point outside preferably across the street and every member of a household should practice the home fire escape plan at least twice a year.