Aspotogan resident escapes house fire ‘with the clothes on his back’


Fire ravaged a storey-and-a-half home at a property overlooking Backmans Cove in Lunenburg County.

One person was home at the time, discovered the blaze and narrowly escaped the incident without physical injury.

"The homeowner was home and he got out pretty much with the clothes on his back," Mike Schnare, chief of Blandford's volunteer fire department, told LighthouseNOW during a phone interview.

Emergency crews were notified April 22 just before 3 p.m. of a structure fire in the community of Aspotogan. Blandford responders were first on scene and quickly realized there was little left to save.

"When we got there it was fully involved" in fire, Schnare said of the home. "It was a total loss."

Extra help from neighbouring volunteer departments in Chester, Hubbards and Chester Basin was sent to the Highway 329 home.

Water supply and additional personnel were needed to extinguish the house fire and prevent any potential spread to surrounding woods or outbuildings. Fire crews established a system where tankers dump or pump water before driving to a site for refilling and then shuttle the water back to the incident. There is no fire hydrant system in the area.

Highway 329 remained open to motor vehicle traffic.

"Here in the Chester municipality we work well together," Schnare said.

There also were no injuries sustained by responders, who remained on scene for more than three hours to ensure the fire was put out.

Schnare was not sure about insurance coverage concerning the home.

At the time he spoke to LighthouseNOW, the fire chief said the cause of the fire is classified as undetermined in nature, although he "would be surprised if it was anything other than an unfortunate incident."

Also at the time he spoke to LighthouseNOW, Schnare was "not sure" if the fire started inside or outside the home.

Meanwhile, the homeowner was temporarily staying with a relative, said the Canadian Red Cross (CRC), an emergency social services charity.

First responders routinely reach out to the CRC in case it can offer assistance to someone impacted by house fires.

"Our Bridgewater volunteers are assisting the displaced man with funds for purchases of clothing and food," CRC spokesman Dan Bedell told LighthouseNOW in an email.

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