A late-night fire has destroyed a townhome development on Edgehill Drive in the city's west end and caused damage to two homes next door to it.
The Barrie fire department received a call at 11:54 p.m., Sunday, about a number of buildings on fire in the Edgehill and Ferndale drive area. Crews arrived to smoke and fire billowing into the midnight sky.
BarrieToday spoke with Barrie Fire Chief Cory Mainprize on the scene at approximately 1:30 a.m. as crews were attempting to get a gas-main fire under control and were told that, while the crews were starting to get a handle on it all, they would be on the scene for several more hours.
“The multiple buildings (are) under construction and were well involved when crews arrived and while we’re starting to get a handle on it, we will be here for several hours,” said Mainprize. “It’s way too early to know the cause, but the Office of the Fire Marshall has been notified.”
No one was injured in the fires, as the developments were not inhabited, and the homes on each side were safely evacuated by the time crews arrived.
“The buildings under construction were not occupied, (but) both of the exposures on the east and west of the fire were occupied and both of those had self-evacuated on crew’s arrival, so there were no injuries there. We have a firefighter with a broken ankle,” said Mainprize.
Teresa Villeneuve, who lives at 290 Edgehill Dr., told BarrieToday that she and her teenage daughters were sleeping when they were awakened by all the noise. They were thankful to hear no one was seriously hurt.
“The units that were being built a few doors down from me were all up in flames,” said Villeneuve. “The units weren’t even finished and before tonight they were doing all the insides like the kitchens and bathrooms and such. They all came down; I think there were six or eight townhomes and they’re all gone. The only good thing is that no one was living in them."
While no one was in the units that were being built, the fire was so large that it spread on to a home next door, which was one house away from Villeneuve's home.
“The fire made it over to my neighbour’s house and it almost got ours,” she said. “All I could do was get my daughters out and the police told me to move vehicle from the driveway.”
Cause and cost of damage is unknown at this time.
Firefighters remain on scene Monday morning dealing with hotspots.
Stay tuned to BarrieToday for details as they become available.