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Owner escapes unharmed from fire that destroys house in Port au Port East

A police officer is seen at right taking photos of a home on Main Street in Port au Port East that was completed destroyed in a fire on Wednesday evening.
A police officer is seen at right taking photos of a home on Main Street in Port au Port East that was completed destroyed in a fire on Wednesday evening. - Frank Gale

A Port au Port East man is without a home following a fire on Wednesday evening that completely destroyed his house.

The owner was in the house at the time the fire started but got out OK to make an emergency call from a neighbour’s home.

Deputy Fire Chief Wayne Deaves of the Port au Port Regional Fire Department said when one of their firefighters was on his way to the fire station, which is nearby, the whole attached garage of the structure was in flames.

He said the fire seems to have started in the garage portion of the home and spread to the rest of the house before firefighters could get it under control, then put it out.

Deaves said they were hampered a little at first from fighting the fire on the east side of the building because there was a live wire that was arcing blue sparks, so they had to wait until Newfoundland Power employees came to cut the power before attacking the fire from that side of the building.

There was also a car in the driveway that was receiving fire damage that firefighters had to slide over the snow to get it back away from the burning house.

Deaves said the call came in to them at 6:17 p.m. and it was sometime after 2:30 a.m. before the last firefighters left after working on hotspots. They had about 18 firefighters attend.

The firefighters managed to prevent the fire from damaging a nearby house.

Stan Lafitte, who lives a short distance from the burning home, found it a little concerning especially when an RCMP officer told them to have valuables ready in case the fire would spread to their home.

He said had it been a windy evening, the situation might have been different for him and his wife. He said the neighbor did come to their house to phone emergency services and left.

“There were an awful lot of emergency vehicles. It looked almost like a Christmas parade,” he said.

In addition to police and fire crews, an ambulance also responded but didn’t have to be used.

The Canadian Red Cross posted online that volunteers from their Stephenville branch helped the man out with emergency lodging and clothing purchases while awaiting assessment by insurers.

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