UPDATED: Fire devastates home while family at the Santa Claus parade


A young Petrolia family is staying with friends in Sarnia after their Eureka Street home was extensively damaged  by fire. And an effort is already underway to help them have a merrier Christmas.

Just before the town’s Christmas parade was to begin, fire trucks raced from the marshalling area to 296 Eureka Street. Fire Chief Lawrence Swift says the Blevins family was downtown doing errands and had stopped to watch the Santa Claus parade unaware that thick black smoke was coming from the home.

Swift says when the department arrives there were “some flames coming out of the back door…there was heavy smoke throughout the house indicating the fire was well entrenched in the house.”

Firefighters were able to extinguish the blaze, but Swift says there has been substantial smoke damage.

“It’s believed the fire started in the basement area in an extension cord for a hanging light,” he says. A mattress under the light then caught fire.

Swift says the home was under renovation and that was the reason for the extension cord. He adds it is always a good idea to unplug unused cords to prevent fires.

Brian Blevins says he, his wife, Andrea, and their four children, Elyse, 7, Jonah, 5, Grace, 3, and Bethany, 1 are staying with friends from Temple Baptist Church in Sarnia. Blevins says everything is a “bit of a haze” as he tries to work with the insurance company to determine what they will do next.

There have been a number of calls of concern to Petrolia Town hall so Petrolia Councilor Joel Field says who wish to donate to the family can drop off clothing or toys to Petrolia Town Hall or the Oil Heritage District Community Centre. Cash and cheques will also be accepted to be placed in trust once an account can be set up in the next couple of days.





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