Marthaville fire likely started in crawlspace chief says

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Petrolia/North Enniskillen Firefighter Tim Garvie works at the eaves of a home on fire in Marthaville Sunday.

Petrolia/North Enniskillen Fire Chief Jay Arns says a fire at a Marthaville home likely started in the crawlspace.

The department was called to Lasalle Line near Marthaville Road Sunday afternoon to find the two storey older home with flames coming through the roof.

Crews from Wyoming and Brooke-Alvinston were called in to help bring water to the scene from a hydrant on Discovery Line. Firefighters were on the scene for most of the afternoon.

Arns says while much of the damage appeared to be in the roof, older homes have “balloon construction.

“The fire in this house originated in the crawlspace underneath the house, and it traveled up the walls inside up into the ceiling up in the top floor,” says Arns.

“There’s no firebreak in these older buildings between the first level floor and the roof line. It’s just a straight, two by four all the way up and no breaks in between, so every 16 inches you got a brand new fire tunnel.”

Arns says there is a lot of damage in the home. “The roof on the front part is collapsed. There’s some damage to the floor and some structural members,” he says adding the firefighters had to get under the shingles and between the walls to get to the flames.

Fire officials were on the scene most of Monday looking for the cause and while they believe the fire started in the crawlspace, where the homeowners had been working, officials haven’t found the exact cause yet. He estimates about $320,000 damage was done in the blaze.

No one was home at the time of the fire. Arns says the family had purchased the home in August.