Two animals perish in house fire

A Feb. 10 blaze destroyed a log home and claimed the life of two family pets.

Arthur and Mount Forest stations responded to the fire on the 5th Line in Wellington North, about 8km east of Arthur.

“When we arrived it was fully involved with fire and a partial collapse of the roof,” said Wellington North Fire Chief Dave Guilbault.

No one was home at the time, but a dog and cat perished in the fire.

He added the Wellington North department is still investigating the cause of the fire, but it is not being treated as suspicious.

The damage estimate is pegged at $275,000 to $300,000.

About 30 firefighters were on the scene, including those from the Grand Valley and Fergus stations.

Guilbault said fire crews were not concerned about the fire spreading to neighbouring homes, but went on the “defensive” to put out the flames.

Guilbault said firefighters had to deal with the wind, cold and slick road conditions.

“It was very, very slippery and we’re grateful that public works came out and sanded two or three times,” he said.

A driver on nearby Wellington Road 16 spotted the fire and went to a neighbouring house to call 911.

Guilbault said the loss of pets was hard for fire crews.

“Animals are the family pet and we treat them as family members,” he said.

“We never like to hear these stories when we arrive on scene, but there was nothing we could do.”

Wellington North Fire chaplain Michael Burns, who started with the department on Feb. 1, was at the scene to comfort the family.

“The most important thing is no one got hurt,” said Guilbault.