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Thursday, December 9, 2021

Cause of fire at cottage rental north of Peterborough undetermined, fire chief says – Peterborough

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No injuries were reported after a fire broke out at a rental cottage north of Peterborough on Saturday morning.

According to Douro-Dummer Township fire Chief Chuck Pedersen, around 8 a.m. about 40 firefighters, including Selwyn Township crews, responded to a fire at a rental cottage on Lake Edge Road, just south of Young’s Point, about 20 kilometres north of the city.

Neighbour Lawrence Lamb says he was in bed when he heard a noise and discovered the fire and called 911.

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“I heard some rustling around and looked outside and there was a fire at my neighbour’s place,” he said.

Pedersen say by the time crews arrived, the fire had spread into the attic and was exiting a bathroom window.

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“The fire was challenging to reach due to the steel roof with a compromised roof structure as well as only a one-inch crawl space below the main part of the building that was difficult to access and allowed the fire to reach all areas of the building,” he said. “We were able to stop the fire from entering the two-storey side, but there was smoke and water damage throughout.

“In the end we had to get an excavator in as we could not reach all the voids that were still burning. Only the two-storey section was left standing.”

Pedersen noted the fire was likely burning for a long time before it was detected.

“The closed doors burnt through, but all the interior doors were closed, which helped compartmentalize the fire and may have been effective if the fire was detected earlier,” he said. “Closing doors does help to buy time to contain the fire to a room while the fire department responds.”

Pedersen says the fire is believed to have started in the bathroom area, but due to the extensive damage and the building being structurally unsafe, a thorough investigation was not possible.

“The cause is undetermined,” he said.

Pedersen said the property is used seasonally and no one was at the cottage at the time of the fire.

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