TATAMAGOUCHE – A family of four is staying with relatives for now after their mobile home was destroyed by fire on Tuesday.
Ian MacDonald, chief of the Tatamagouche Fire Department, said only one resident – the male homeowner – was at the home when firefighters got the call at 8:50 p.m.
“He got out, but when we got there, fire was visible through the front door,” said MacDonald.
Twenty firefighters responded to the blaze at 3275 Highway 246, just outside of the village, and had the fire contained in about 40 minutes.
“It is pure speculation on my part, but I think the fire started in the living room. The living room was central to the home,” he said. “It was a total loss. The family lost all their possessions – the homeowner escaped with just his pants.”
The family, which MacDonald identified as Wanda and Terry Tattrie, includes a son around 16 or 17 years old and a daughter near the age of 10 or 12.
A neighbor, said the chief, offered to set up an account for the family at the Bank of Nova Scotia in Tatamgaouche.
This was the first structure fire the Tatamagouche firefighters had since about May 2013, according to MacDonald.
“We’ve been pretty lucky in that,” he said.
“One of the things we used was a new way of firefighting. While our trucks were being set up, we used a Dry Sprinkler Power Aerosol – it was the first time we used it successfully.”
MacDonald said the aerosol is as simple as pulling a pin from a can and slows down fire.
“The idea is that it can contain a smaller fire. This was a bit bigger, but we made the decision to use it. It made good sense at the time.”
Firefighters were on the scene until shortly before midnight, and the highway had to be closed to motorists for several hours. The RCMP was on site, as were paramedics to treat the homeowner for smoke inhalation.
“He was transported to the hospital in Truro, but I was told he was released later on,” said MacDonald.