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House fire reported on Big Bay Point Road (8 photos)

Cause determined to be ashes from wood stove

Innisfil firefighters were called to a fire at a large bungalow on Big Bay Point Road near Prince William Drive on Monday morning. 

The fire department received a 911 call around 10 a.m. from a passerby who ran down the driveway to alert tenants inside. 

"Upon arrival flames were through the roof. It was a very difficult fire. Wind was making the fire even harder to put out once it was through the roof," said Innsifil Fire Chief Jon Pegg.

"Approximately 30 firefighters on scene brought the fire under control after about an hour."

All of the tenants were out when firefighters arrived, Pegg said. It appears the blaze started on the back deck of the home. 

"The residents said they had taken ashes lately from a wood stove out to the back deck. So we're assuming with the high winds those ashes were ignited and got into the roof," Pegg said. 

"Anytime we have fire above us when it's in the roof it's very dangerous for firefighters to enter because that roof could come down at any time. So what it means we have to do a defensive attack which means fight the fire from the outside."

A man who grew up in the home said his father built the large bungalow back in the late 60's. 

The man, who declined to be identified lives in a home at the back of the 33 acres property property and came to the scene. 

"I just had another neighbour call me and said the homestead was on fire," said the man.  "They said it was a bad fire."

The man said his family sold the home about four years ago for more than $1 million after renting it out for a number of years following the death of his father.

The current owners were renting it to a family with three young boys, according to the neighbour. 

Early estimates put the dollar loss around $700,000. 

Pegg says firefighters managed to retrieve a couple of laptops and cell phones but the home itself appears to be a total loss. 

The Fire Chief says it appears the home was equipped with working alarms, although the devices are melted now.

"Anytime a fire starts in the roof or gets in the roof quickly it's very dangerous for firefighters and for tenants so the fact that they were awake and got out is always a good thing. It's a very dangerous fire. If that had've been at night time and they had no working smoke alarms we could've had a different result."

The Ontario Fire Marshal was notified because the fire fit the criteria of dollar loss but the OFM is not attending because Innisfil Fire Investigators have determined the cause.

Both the home owner and tenants have insurance, according to Pegg. 

No one was injured. 

This was first day for 8 new recruits on Innisfil Fire who responded this morning.