Large fire destroys Erin home; family “˜saved”™ by smoke detectors

A young family managed to escape unharmed, but a large fire on Sept. 7  destroyed their rural home.

“They were very lucky … Working smoke detectors saved their lives,” Fire Chief Dan Callaghan told the Advertiser the morning after the fire on the 1st Line northwest of Ospringe.

Callaghan explained three members of the family, including one child, a father and an expectant mother, were in bed on Monday night when smoke detectors alerted them of a fire in their garage shortly before 10pm.

All three family members, plus four pets, managed to escape the home unharmed, Callaghan said.

The fire department received the call at 9:54pm and 31 firefighters from the Erin and Hillsburgh fire stations responded to the scene.

“It was fully involved when we got here,” Callaghan said of the fire, which “burned pretty fast” through the “vinyl-cladded wood structure.”

He noted firefighters from the Guelph-Eramosa department were also called to the scene under the mutual aid agreement, but they were not needed. Fire fighters remained on the scene until about 3 or 4am to extinguish “hot spots,” Callaghan added.

Extended family members were visibly upset at the scene on Monday morning, including one woman who confirmed nobody was injured in the blaze.

Callaghan said that is the  only positive in an otherwise devastating fire.

“If there’s one good thing to take away from this, it’s that  the home had working smoke detectors,” he said.

Callaghan estimated the damage from the fire at about $500,000. He said the cause is still under investigation “through consultation” with the Office of the Fire Marshal and Emergency Management, though he noted the Fire Marshal’s office will not be attending the scene in person.