Foymount – An early Wednesday evening fire that destroyed a cottage on a private road in Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan (BLR) Township was contained to the property thanks to the hard work of the township fire department.
Fire Chief Jordan Genrick said the department was dispatched at approximately 7:15 p.m. to an address on Holly Lane, off County Road 512 between Foymount and Brudenell. When the first personnel arrived on scene, the structure was fully involved.
“By the time anybody really noticed it, I guess, it was already starting to go pretty good,” he said. “It had a good start before we got there and the wind that night was something else.”
The fact the structure was a cottage it was assumed there was no one inside at the time of the fire. He added it was later learned the owners, who are from the Mississauga area, had been there on Monday possibly doing some renovation work before returning home.
“It was a smaller cottage, all one level, on piers,” he said.
A strictly exterior attack was employed, with Chief Genrick explaining the department was also focused on protecting some other buildings that were threatened because of the conditions.
“There were some structures that were close by, so we protected those. There was one other cottage to the right of it and it looked like a couple of little bunkies that were built to the left of it, on the same property.
He estimated the bunkies were no more than 50 feet from the cottage and firefighters were able to save them from damage.
Chief Genrick said due to the prevailing high winds, the fire spread to some of the surrounding trees.
“Seeing how it is a cottage and people like their privacy, obviously, the trees around the building were quite close,” he noted. “Being balsam, spruce and a cedar mix, away they go when the fire gets into the canopy of those.
“So there was number of trees that got scorched,” he added.
He said at no time did the fire spread past the initial property lines, noting the wind was blowing with the property, rather than across the property.
“Nothing really extended off the property which was a bonus.”
While the winds created other problems, the chief was grateful for the mild temperatures that prevailed. “It was very mild, it was beautiful weather, that was the best part of the night. We had no worries of anything freezing up, or people freezing up.”
Water was accessed from the lake. The department utilized a high-pressure pump purchased two years ago and no shuttling of water was required.
“We did straight pumping. We had lots of water for what we needed,” he said. “We cut a hole, put the suction down through the ice, and away it goes.”
The department responded with 22 firefighters and three pumpers, a tanker, and the department half-ton.
“We had a very good turn-out. It’s been long time since we’ve had that many guys on scene,” he remarked.
“It was excellent teamwork to contain it like they did,” he added. “I said afterwards that everyone worked like a well-oiled machine, just the way it’s supposed to.”
He said there was a number of new firefighters on scene as well and everyone worked very well together.
Holly Lane runs off Foymount Road (Highway 512) and leads to Lorwell Lake. The cottage was approximately one kilometre in from the main road.
He said the rain that night made the private road somewhat slick, so he called in the township roads department to sand the road.
“So a shout out to those guys too for helping us out,” he remarked.
Firefighters remained on scene for about four hours.
The fire was reported by one of the permanent residents on the road who was driving by and noticed the blaze the cause of which is believed to have been electrical in nature.
“It’s suspected that it was electrical,” he said. “I know with the wind and the hydro going on and off, we suspect there was a surge.
“Just where the fire started, it appears to be in the electrical panel or associated with the meter outside,” he added.
Chief Genrick said the property was insured.