One person missing after large residential fire in Cumberland

One person missing after large residential fire in Cumberland

Fire early Saturday morning destroyed 2 homes and damaged a third. Cause has not been determined.

Nearly two dozen Cumberland and Courtenay firefighters battled a early morning blaze Saturday.

Two homes were already engulfed and flames were spreading to a third house when crews began to arrive shorlty after 3am.

“The middle house was fully involved when I got here and I was the first one on scene,” said Cumberland Deputy Fire Chief Craig Windley. “Two stories were fully involved. The second house, the west wall was completely involved and it was up into the soffits.”

Bill Walters lives right across from the scene on Penrith Avenue between 3rd and 4th Streets.

“As soon as I opened the door to the house and stepped outside I could feel the heat, it was that intense. It was just incredible.” he said.

“When I saw it they had just got here and they hadn?t put water on it yet and it was just going like crazy,” he added. “They worked like crazy to get it under control, and there was no saving that house it was gone.”

Firefighters continued to put out hot spots during the day Saturday.

A mother and her young child escaped from one of the burning houses, a two story blue house adjacent to the one that began burning first. It is now heavily damaged as well, it’s roof is caved in and the upper floor is gutted.

The house where the fire began collapsed 10 minutes after firefighters arrived, crews spent the day sifting through the rubble looking for a missing person.

“Right now there?s one person that?s unaccounted for that?s all we know, we?re still doing the fire investigation and that?s been turned over to the RCMP.” said Windley.

“I?ve never met the guy but I hear that he?s unaccounted for so hopefully they?ll find him” said neighbour Jack Martin.

“It?s just such a tragedy really,” added Walters. “No one said for sure yet there?s been a fatality or not but who knows.”

The third home damaged in the fire was empty and there were no other injuries.

The cause remains unknown but RCMP investigators were canvassing the neighbourhood talking to witnesses Saturday.

Dean StoltzDean Stoltz

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