No one was hurt but a picturesque home on a property with a water view went up in flames December 20 in Lunenburg County.
Heavy black smoke in the distance was a dead giveaway for first responders who were sent to the Highway 331 address in Dublin Shore just before 2 p.m. However, there wasn't much left to save by the time the first-arriving fire truck pulled up. Thick flames were well underway to consuming the multi-storey house.
"It was burning hot, and going fast," James Williams, fire chief of the LaHave and district volunteer fire department, told LighthouseNOW in a telephone interview.
There were no rescues, attempted rescues, nor any evacuations. No one was home at the time of the fire, which was called-in by a neighbour or passer-by.
"We dumped [hose]lines right away and surrounded the house," he said of the fire attack, which had to be defensive, meaning it was unsafe to enter the home. "It was too far engulfed" in flames, Williams said.
There was no other damage beyond the house, which is a total loss. "The outbuildings were quite a ways away, and the neighbour's house was no where near in jeopardy," Williams said.
LaHave volunteer firefighters were first out-of-the-gate, with four neighbouring departments soon-to-follow thanks to a long-standing mutual aid agreement for structure fires.
Additional volunteer crews from Dayspring, who provided manpower and water supply, and Bridgewater, who refilled cylinders firefighters wear on their backs for breathable air in hazardous conditions, were also on scene.
The home is believed to be insured, and family having found other accommodations. Williams said the Canadian Red Cross, an emergency social services charity, was notified in case the family needed additional assistance. He wouldn't disclose how many people lived in the home.
One of the biggest challenges to fighting the fire, the fire chief said, was snuffing out hot spots after the structure collapsed into the basement.
The cause of the fire is classified as undetermined pending further investigation by the Office of the Fire Marshal. Williams said it may be difficult to pinpoint where the fire started due to the extent of damage.
Firefighters worked the scene for about nine hours before the last of the flames were extinguished.
Lunenburg district RCMP and personnel from the province's Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal helped with motor vehicle traffic control on the well-travelled highway. The road was temporarily closed.