Chatham-Kent Fire & Emergency Services officials say the cause is undetermined after a blaze at a multi-unit residence at 49 Grant Street in Chatham on Wednesday.
An estimated $400,000 in damage was caused as a result.
However, no one was injured, fire officials say.
Dispatch received numerous calls to a house fully engulfed in fire just before 5 p.m.
“Crews and Chief Officers arrived within four minutes of the call and were faced with a large fire covering most of one side of the house and reports that people including children trapped within the structure,” fire officials said in a press release.
“Crews fought the fire and entered the structure to search and check that the building was clear. EMS swiftly arrived to support the operation and provide immediate medical care for those who had escaped the fire, including an infant.”
Fire officials added: “It was soon reported that the building had been searched and cleared and CK Police Officers were able to ascertain the location of those not accounted for. Representatives from Embridge and Entegrus attended to isolate power and gas with engineers from Entegrus remaining on scene for the duration of the call to provide assistance with overhead power lines so the ladder truck could be safely operated.”
Fire officials say two Pumper Units from Stations 1 and 2 were dispatched to the location, where smoke was clearly visible, along with a Ladder Unit from Station 1.
“Power had to be isolated to surrounding homes whilst the fire was being fought,” fire officials say.
“Efforts then turned to extinguish the blaze and prevent spread to neighbouring properties in close proximity. Four hand lines and the ladder were used to deal with the fire, this was challenging due to the location, increasing winds and the fire entering the walls and attic space, making the fire deep seated.”
Crews were on scene and put away walls and roofing materials to find hotspots before turning the scene over to CK Fire Investigators and CK Police to carry out an origin and cause determination.
At the time the fire is undetermined but not considered to be suspicious in nature, fire officials say.
The scene was handed back to representatives of the owner at around 10 p.m.
Chatham-Kent Victim Services and the Canadian Red Cross attended and helped 15 people who had lost their homes and belongings to find temporary accommodation.
Fire Chief Bob Crawford, who was on scene, stated that the fire was a team effort.
“Crews worked swiftly to clear the homes and ensure everyone was safe, we are grateful to the Police and EMS crews on scene who worked incredibly hard to support the firefighting operations and thankfully conclude this incident without any reports of injuries,” the Chief stated.
“We are also grateful for our partners at Enbridge, Entegrus, Victim Services and the Canadian Red Cross for their help which was invaluable, we had a very dangerous situation to handle and we rely heavily on these supports to keep the community and our first responders safe.”
Stations 1 and 2 were set to return to the area on Thursday afternoon and carry out door-to-door visits during their After the Fire Reassurance Campaign to local residents, offer comfort, and advice to ensure they are protected from the dangers of fire, which were so dramatically demonstrated once more yesterday afternoon.