Major damage, no injuries in Mitchell blaze
Mitchell Advocate

Damage was estimated at $700,000 in a house fire in Mitchell Feb. 28, the West Perth Fire Department (WPFD) reported, and fortunately the home owners suffered no injuries.

Fire Prevention Officer James Marshall said the fire call took place at 1:30 p.m. that Sunday afternoon to a home on Clayton Street. On arrival, WPFD crews found flames through the roof of the garage and smoke from both ends of the attic.

The fire scene was held overnight by WPFD and the fire investigation continued March 1.

The fire is not suspicious and the cause has been deemed accidental, Marshall said.

“Unfortunately, we have had multiple structure fires in the area this year with a variety of causes,” Marshall said. “Through public education we offer constant messages of safe cooking practices, maintaining chimneys and furnaces, and giving your heater a meter from combustibles. These best practices prevent many fires from occurring.

“However, sometimes accidents happen,” he continued. “Sometimes fires occur. It is imperative that functional in date smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are installed throughout your home to give all residents a chance to escape a house fire.”

WPFD fire Chief Bill Hunter added: “Make sure your family has a home escape plan that you all know and have trained to. Know how to get out, where to meet, and when you are out, stay out.”

During West Perth’s council meeting March 1, Mayor Walter McKenzie asked Chief Hunter about what seems to be a rash of house fires in the entire region the past few weeks, not just in this municipality.

“There’s not a consistent problem in all the fires,” Chief Hunter said. “Everybody’s being asked to stay at home, there should actually be less fires because they’ve got more opportunity to maintain heating systems and keep their homes safe.  But maybe people are just not paying attention to what needs to be looked after … ”

Crews were requested for mutual aid from the Monkton station of North Perth Fire Department, receiving two fire trucks and 10 firefighters.

Perth County EMS, the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) and the WPFD remained on scene until approximately 7 p.m. with five fire trucks and 20 firefighters.