The roof of a large home on Martin Park Drive in Oyster River near Black Creek collapsed Friday morning after flames tore through the home.
“When I arrived, the whole outside of the building there was heavy smoke coming from all the eaves of the building which told me there was a heavy fire in there. Shortly thereafter the roof above the garage collapsed,” stated Oyster River Fire Chief Bruce Green.
Neighbours could only watch helplessly as flames tore through the house.
“It was totally in flames,” said Kelly Horobetz, who lives nearby. “It was coming through the roof so there was really nothing those guys could do.”
Matt Donald’s mother-in-law lived in the basement apartment. She was one of four people who called the house home.
Two others were inside at the time. One of them was treated by paramedics at the scene for smoke inhalation.
“From what it looks like it started somewhere upstairs and it spread just so fast,” Donald said. “I mean it’s crazy to think that something as small as whatever started this just demolishes a house as quickly as it did.”
CHEK News was told at the scene that an unattended candle may have been the cause but Green says that hasn’t been determined yet.
The Courtenay Fire Department provided mutual aid and about 30 firefighters in total worked to douse the flames.
Crews were still on the scene during the dinner hour Friday evening.
“It was going for a while,” added Green. “It takes us a good eight minutes to get here and with today’s construction fires move rapidly and effectively, that’s why we want people to ensure they have working smoke alarms and practice their escape plan so they can get out of the building quickly.”
He says the home did have working smoke detectors and that the occupants are now being looked after by emergency social services.