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Grand River family safe after evacuating home late Monday night

Wellington Fire Department file photo
Wellington Fire Department file photo - Wellington Fire Department

The structure is still standing but has heavy smoke damage

GRAND RIVER – There were no injuries but a family had to quickly vacate a house Monday night after fire broke out.

Wellington Fire Department received a call around 10:23 p.m. after a woman noticed smoke in the house but no obvious flames. The woman was in the home with her young daughter.

The house, located in the Grand River area, belonged to her parents who were not in the home at the time.

Desmond Arsenault of the Wellington Fire Department said determining the source of the smoke was difficult.

“Because there was no obvious flame, it was hard to determine the origin. As many know, there was a planned emergency power outage at the time that began at 9 p.m., we suspect that when the power went out, the oil furnace that had been running all day shut off.

With the furnace off, the woman lit a fire in the wood stove. The chimney attached to the stove was also partly attached to the furnace, and without power for the fan to blow the hot air away, it just sat there and began to seep into the house and began to smolder.

“It was just a combination of events.”

The house remains standing, but there is a significant amount of damage.

Arsenault said firefighters stayed on the scene into the early hours of Tuesday to ensure that any source of smoke or smoldering heat had been extinguished.

He said this incident is a reminder for Islanders to check their heating appliances regularly during the winter months.

“With the possibility of stormy weather and power outages over the next few months, Islanders should check their furnaces and other heat options. Commonly, chimneys can freeze as snow pelts down, and when the smoke freezes and then all of a sudden the power comes back on, it can blow the smoke back into the appliance. It can be a dangerous series of events.”

The Canadian Red Cross is currently working to help the family. newsroom@journalpioneer.com

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