A major house fire broke out Thursday night near Cumberland at 3704 Minto, on the Royston side of the road.
Firefighters were confronted with a couple of concerns: the proximity of about 20 acres of forest
behind the house, and a lack of fire hydrants in the area.
“We had a bit of a forest exposure to deal with,” Cumberland Fire Chief Mike Williamson said. “The other issue we had was it’s 1,600 feet from our hydrant. Our trucks only pack 1,000 feet of hose, so we had to do what we call a ‘relay pump.’ One truck drops its line, and then other trucks next to the hydrant lays lines. It’s much better than working off a tanker.”
The residents of the house were not home at the time of the blaze, which was spotted by a passing motorist.
Earlier in the day, neighbours had smelled smoke but they could not see or find anything. Several hours later, a man was knocking at their door informing them of the fire. The neighbours then called the fire department.
“The fire started outside the house,” Williamson said. “It burned up the wall and into the roof. The entire attic space was on fire.”
Family members have reported that the homeowner lost everything in the blaze.
The exact cause of the fire is still under investigation.