$600K in damage after blaze guts Norwood house and spreads to two other houses
The Peterborough Examiner

NORWOOD — No one was hurt but a fire that started in the garage of a house in Norwood on Wednesday night and spread to three houses has resulted in an estimated $600,000 in total damage.

The cause of the fire at 18 Maple Ave. was accidental, Asphodel-Norwood Fire Chief Darryl Payne said Thursday. The damage to all of the houses was extensive, he said.

“At 10:13 p.m. the page came through and we were here within five minutes. The impacted structure was totally engulfed. The house to the right — 20 on Maple Avenue — was also on fire,” Payne said.

According to Payne, the house to the left was on fire too when firefighters arrived.

“So we had three burning structures here at one time,” he said. “The first thing we did was attack the two houses that were just being affected and we successfully put them out.”

The fire left the house gutted with an estimated $450,000 in damage, Payne said, while the other two houses of exposure also had damage, including to vehicles, estimated at about $150,000 in total, Payne said.

Around 2:20 a.m., the fire was extinguished. A fire crew was on standby until 4:30 until lost stop was called, checking for any hotspots.

There were no injuries as a result of the fire, Payne said.

“I think one family pet — a cat — didn’t make it out. The house of origin had three and they got out. All of them had three I think and they all got out. Everybody’s safe. No injuries, no smoke inhalation, nothing,” he said.

The house where the fire started belongs to Rob and Krystal Smoke, along with their son Emmett.

Friends launched an online fundraising campaign through GoFundMe on Thursday morning to help out the Smoke family.

As of late Thursday night, 164 donors had raised $19,745 toward a $15,000 goal.

While the family was able to save their dog Lucy, their cat Uggie died in the fire, the GoFundMe campaign notes.

The family is also expecting a baby girl in just over a month and the three were only able to escape the fire with the clothing on their backs, the GoFundMe campaign notes.

The Ontario Fire Marshal will not be investigating the fire, Payne said.

“We had a discussion this morning and it’s not suspicious. So it’s going to be just the fire department doing the investigation,” Payne said.

Because the house had working smoke alarms, the family was able to exit the home safely, Payne said.

According to Payne, the number of fires have increased since the start of the pandemic.

“I know because of COVID we’re having more fires, and actually, there’s double the amount of deaths now that there was a year ago because people weren’t home. Be aware these things can happen and be diligent,” he said.

To make a donation to the Smoke family, visit gofundme.com/f/the-smoke-family-fire-relief

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