Century-old Kingston home extensively damaged

Post date: Oct 28, 2010 4:18:42 PM

Annette Daviault hugged her family members, tears streaming down her cheeks, as she watched fire rip through her home and send a thick cloud of smoke into the road where she stood.

Her husband, Chris Graham, said the couple bought the house in December and have spent the last year renovating the structure, which is about 100 years old and was severely damaged in Wednesday's fire.

Graham was planning to go on vacation next week to finish the renovations with a coat of paint.

"Nobody's hurt, that's the main thing," Graham said.

"That's all you can worry about, isn't it?"

Cpl. Dana Shannon of the Hampton RCMP said the fire, which began around 10:30 a.m. at the residence on Route 845 on the Kingston Peninsula, took about five hours to extinguish.

At noon the house could barely be seen through the thick cloud of smoke that enveloped it.

Firefighters sprayed the house with water from every angle but the flames fought back, flaring out of the roof and refusing to be snuffed out.

The dull hum of the fire trucks was the only noticeable sound as firefighters worked first through mist and then the heavy rain.

Graham said he was working in Saint John when he received a call from the RCMP and was told his house was on fire.

"I don't know what to say or think," he said.

He said he was glad he and his adult son were at work and his wife out to get groceries when the blaze began. However, he said his two cats were inside at the time and he didn't know where they were.

Shannon said the firefighters on the scene could not find the cats and were unsure whether they made it out alive.

Graham said he didn't yet know where his family was going to go.

"I'll have to worry about that as it comes," he said.

"All I've got is what I've got on."

Shannon said the fire started in a spare bedroom on the side of the house. Foul play, she said, is not suspected.

The RCMP officer said a cause was not known on Wednesday afternoon but investigators and the fire marshal remained on scene to investigate.

She described the damage as very severe.

John Long, district chief with the Long Reach Fire Department, said the fire was reported by someone who noticed the flames while driving by the house.

Long was the first firefighter to get to the fire and said when he arrived he saw flames as high as nearly eight metres and a home that was engulfed in flames.

He said the volunteer fire department on the Kingston Peninsula was the main responder and he immediately called the fire departments in the Kennebecasis Valley, Hampton and Nauwigewauk to assist.




Published Thursday October 28th, 2010