Provincial fire marshal Dave Rossiter made that determination after attending the scene. The fire extensively damaged the kitchen area of the home and left other areas with smoke and water damage.
Alberton fire chief Kenny Ramsay said the call to attend a possible structure fire came in at 5:24 a.m., with 22 members of his department responding to the scene. The O’Leary department was activated to provide mutual aid as well.
On arrival, firefighters could see fire and smoke coming from the residence.
The mother was woken by the alarm and managed to “heroically” alert the others to the danger, said Ramsay.
“Flames were rolling over their heads as they made their way out. They also took in some smoke but no serious injuries resulted,” said the fire chief.
Firefighters were able to knock down the fire quickly, having it under control in about 10 minutes. That allowed them to cancel the response from the O’Leary department.
Two pet cats remained in the residence but were unaffected.
The quick action on the fire by members of the Alberton Fire Department reduced the impact of heat on the pets and ventilation of the building prevented the smoke from descending to the cats that sought shelter at floor level, said Ramsay.
Canadian Red Cross volunteers have provided necessities for the family members and may provide additional assistance depending on circumstances.
Rossiter listed the cause of the fire as accidental, saying the source was “a fault created in an electrical cord where the fridge was pushed against the plug from a small appliance”.
The fire marshal’s office is reminding everyone that working smoke alarms and a plan of escape do save lives. Ramsay couldn’t agree more.
“I feel, deep down in my heart, that if not for the smoke detector, we would probably be dealing with fatalities,” he added.