Fire Fighting in Canada

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Brush fire damages several homes

April 13, 2010, Chapels Cove, N.L. -  A brushfire that ripped through Chapel's Cove on Monday afternoon almost took Dan Crawley's childhood home and its 150 years of family history on the shore of Conception Bay.

April 13, 2010
By The Canadian Press

It didn't, but it was close — close enough that it destroyed a shed next to the house on Point Road, as well as a car and new truck, charred the railing on the side porch and melted the formerly rigid strips of aluminum siding until they hung draped like ribbons on the front and side of the house.

Crawley was relieved because he was initially told the house — which is owned by his brother, Tim, who works for Suncor in Alberta — was destroyed.

"That's a miracle,'' said Crawley, who lives in Marysvale, noting how close the fire came to his boyhood home while leaving the neighbouring house unscathed save for some damage to a shed in the back.

"It was quite an intense heat.''

The official damage tally, according to Harbour Main/Chapel's Cove Mayor Raymond Parsley, was one house destroyed — just across and up Point Road from the Crawley house — and another damaged when fire crews needed to cut into a wall to get at the flames underneath.

Four sheds were also destroyed, including a new one next to the Crawley home, which Parsley thinks might have accounted for initial reports that as many as three homes were demolished by the fire.

"What it was, was one large shed. I guess they assumed that it was a house,'' he said.

Parsley said police are investigating the cause of the fire, but they think it was an "accidental grass fire'' that was aided by windy conditions.

No one was injured in the fire.