Petrolia house fire likely accidental

Investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal look through the front room of a home on Queen Street which was heavily damaged by fire.

Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire Chief Lawrence Swift says the fire on Queen Street was likely accidental.

Investigators from the Ontario Fire Marshal’s office spent Thursday combing through the front room of the two-storey home trying to pinpoint the most likely cause of the fire which sent the owner of the home to hospital. The woman is still in a London hospital in serious condition according to the OPP.

Just before 11am Wednesday, Terry May’s granddaughter was walking down Queen Street beside LCCVI when she noticed flames in the window of a two-storey home. She rushed to May’s house and told them about the fire. May ran to his neighbours and went around to the back door where he found the woman lying on her kitchen floor as if she had fallen. May believes she was trying to make her way out the back door when she collapsed. The retired Oil Springs firefighter dragged her out of the home.

May’s fiancé went next door to get three people out of that house. The flames were so hot, the siding of their home was melting.

Chief Swift says firefighters also found two of the woman’s cats upstairs hiding. A veterinarian is caring for them. The other cats – as many as six – are believed to have fled the blaze.

Swift says the dining room/living room area of the home was heavily damaged, but much of the upper floor has only smoke damage. Firefighters did have to take down the ceiling as the flames made their way to the attic along the outside of the home.

Swift says about $120,000 damage was done and he’s not certain the home can be rebuilt.