WEST CARLETON – Two West Carleton homes were destroyed by fire today (Nov. 25) and four cats reportedly at home during the fires have not been recovered.
Around 9:21 a.m. this morning Ottawa Fire Services (OFS) received a call reporting heavy smoke and flames visible from the roof of a two-storey single family home on 3980 Limestone Rd. Firefighters from OFS Station 62 in Fitzroy Harbour were first on site. By the time West Carleton Online arrived, there were around 20 emergency services vehicles forming a long line along narrow Limestone Road including several tankers as water had to be brought to the scene and a ladder truck. The home was destroyed.
“Upon arrival, firefighters confirmed a working fire, reporting it fully engaged,” OFS public information officer Jen McNeely released in a statement around noon. “A defensive attack ensued as crews worked to extinguish the fire, while also protect nearby solar panels and a neighbouring home and barn housing sheep at the time of the incident. The fire was declared under control at 11:42 a.m.”
No one was home at the time of the fire.
Homeowner Sharon Swaine had left for work before the fire started but returned home after learning about the fire. Swaine graciously spoke with West Carleton Online while watching the firefighters finish extinguishing the blaze.
“Nobody was home, I left at 7 a.m. this morning,” she told West Carleton Online.
Swaine said she does have a pet cat that was at home at the time of the fire.
“I’m hoping she got out, but I don’t know,” she said.
Swaine was alerted to the fire by her daughter.
“My daughter works for the City of Ottawa and a friend of hers is a volunteer firefighter,” she said. “He heard it on the radio. He messaged her and said ‘Kelly, there’s a fire at your neighbour’s house.’ Kelly asked what the address was. She said, ‘that’s my mom’s house.’ So, she called me and asked me where I was. I said I was at work. She said nobody is answering at grandma’s, and there’s a fire. Then I called my brother, he was halfway to Ottawa. He was here this morning as well. He had left around 8:30.”
Swaine lives beside her parents Ganesh and Rita Raj and their sheep farm, Rajsheep Enterprise.
Swaine’s brother, Ganesh also turned around and headed back to the scene. The home is destroyed as is almost all of Swaine’s possessions. Swaine says she is doing okay for the short term and has a couple of options for a place to stay.
“My mom and dad live right next door,” she said. “Either that or with my daughter, who lives in Ottawa.”
Swaine was supposed to be renewing her mortgage tomorrow (Nov. 26) but that is now up in the air. After speaking with West Carleton Online Swaine headed to her car to do the required OFS paperwork.
Fire would strike West Carleton one more time today at 2:32 p.m. as OFS Fire Station 84 in Corkery answered the call.
“At 1:32 p.m. OFS received a call from a neighbour reporting smoke and flames coming from a home at 874 David Manchester Rd., south of Carp.” McNeely said. “According to the caller, he had gone to the home to check on three cats when he discovered the fire. Upon arrival, firefighters confirmed the fire fully involved. They commenced a defensive attack from the outside, while trying to prevent exposure to a trailer approximately 30 feet from the house.”
The fire was declared under control at 2:49 p.m. and a fire investigator was been dispatched to determine the cause.
“The caller was assessed by Ottawa Paramedics for minor injuries,” McNeely said. “Unfortunately, the cats have yet to be accounted for.”