Suspected cause furnace ashes in compost bin
NORTH RIVER - A young female is left searching for a new home after fire destroyed her apartment and the garage she was living above.
© Submitted photo
A garage and an upstairs apartment on Glenforest Drive in Brookside were destroyed by fire early Wednesday morning. The suspected cause of the fire was furnace ashes being placed in compost bins situated outside the building.
LeRoy Hansen, North River and District Fire Brigade chief, said flames were shooting through the roof of the garage when firefighters arrived on scene at Glenforest Drive in Brookside. The call came in at 1:55 a.m.
The building also contained a recreation vehicle business, Mike’s Recreation and Cycle.
“A 23-year-old female lived alone above the garage and she was able to make it out safely,” said Hansen, adding the owners lived next to the garage and apartment and also noticed the fire.
“The fire was burning up through the roof when we got there and the roof collapsed. It was a total loss,” the chief added.
With fire contained to the apartment portion early on, owner Mike Harrison was successful in removing all the motorcycles, ATV’s and other recreation vehicles in the garage before firefighters arrived on scene, leaving his inventory unharmed.
When asked where the fire started and how, Hansen said the cause is something that fire chiefs everywhere caution about.
“Do not put ashes in green bins,” he said. “The homeowner said he cleaned out the furnace and put ashes in the bins two days ago. There were three green bins outside on the corner of the garage.”
The problem is, that seemingly cold ashes can contain hot coals for long periods of time that go undetected.
In total, 25 firefighters were on scene, including Bible Hill Fire Brigade members who provided mutual aid for water supply and breathing apparatus, as well as others from the Truro Fire Service who also provided breathing apparatus on site. Onslow-Belmont was on standby at its own department until firefighters were done.
Hansen said the homeowner had insurance, however, he wasn't sure if the female tenant was insured.
The fire marshal was expected at the scene on Wednesday.