Cause still undetermined in blaze at the beginning of Fire Prevention Week
EGMONT BAY — Yvon Gallant stood in disbelief as Wellington firefighters used saws to rip through the floors of what remained of his home.
© Nancy MacPhee/Journal Pioneer
A firefighter with the Wellington department peers down through a hole in the roof of a home on Route 11 in Egmont Bay that was gutted by fire Monday afternoon. The cause of the fire is still being investigated by the provincial fire marshal’s office.
That home, located on Route 11 in Egmont Bay, was gutted early Monday afternoon by fire, the cause of which is still being investigated by the provincial fire marshal.
Gallant, who lived alone, had only bought the mobile home in April and had since spent thousands of dollars on upgrades.
He was at work when he got a call around 12:30 p.m. that his home was ablaze.
“It was kind of weird. Nothing like this has happened before,” said Gallant, as he watched firefighters go in and out of the home with hoses and equipment. “It is devastating.”
The fire broke out shortly after 12:30 p.m. Wellington fire department responded while the Miscouche and Tyne Valley fire departments provided mutual aid.
RCMP also responded, as did workers with the Department of Transportation, who directed traffic on the secondary road where the home was located while fire crews worked to contain the fire and, later, ensure that it didn’t reignite.
“There were flames coming out the windows. One section of the house was fully engulfed,” said Wellington Fire Chief Chris Arsenault. “The official knock down would have taken about an hour.”
As for the cause, provincial fire marshal Dave Rossiter, while on the scene late Monday afternoon, said that wouldn’t be determined until Tuesday at the earliest. “We had the point of origin narrowed down to one room but the fire department is still working on the scene,” said Rossiter. “We have a fire that was underneath the floor and because we are dealing with the type of home that we have, where it used to be a mobile home that had a considerable amount of renovations done to it, we have some hidden walls and some hidden ceilings.”
He added, “We’re not saying anything until we get in there and get a real good look at it and start shoveling some of the debris out.”
The fire marshal admitted it wasn’t a great way to kick off Fire Prevention Week. Wellington firefighters remained on scene until shortly before 6 p.m. to ensure the fire was completely extinguished.
“We’re going to have security on it overnight just to maintain a fire watch because we have some embers under the floor and up in the roof,” said Rossiter. “We’ll be back in the morning to do our thing.”
In the meantime, Gallant is now homeless.
“I will just have to find a place to live and buy some more clothes,” he said, dressed in work clothes from his construction job.
He hoped something would be salvageable, especially photos of his daughter.
But, as firefighters sifted through the charred remains, there appeared to be little that escaped unscathed as most items were covered in soot.
“If there’s no hope (in recovering mementoes) I have a fire box with my will and my passport. That should be good.”
An adjuster with P.E.I. Mutual, Gallant’s insurance carrier, was on site assessing and photographing the damage.
The middle-aged man said he’s fortunate that he or no one else was hurt, adding he hoped that the contents of the home would all be covered by his insurance.
“We will see what decision they will make.”