A family of five was rescued by Peterborough Fire Services in the frigid cold Sunday morning, after a fire ripped through their River Road South home.
The fire department was called to the home at 709 River Road South just before 10 a.m., where flames were seen billowing from the rooftop. Officials believe the blaze broke out towards the front of the house, as the family of five people had to flee to a backyard balcony to escape the flames.
Fire chief Chris Snetsinger said the family was trapped on the backyard deck, as there was no escape route or staircase leading below, just 10-foot drop to the ground.
“When fire crews arrived, it was fully involved,” said Snetsinger. “There were people rescued from the balcony and some were taken to hospital.”
With an extreme cold warning, the temperatures with the windchill felt like -28 C. In a moment of panic, fire officials say, one man jumped from the balcony to better position himself to help the others escape, just as firefighters arrived on scene to help the others escape safely.
Snetsinger said three people were taken to hospital for assessment.
For the fire crew, it was all hands on deck as six pumper trucks were used to battle the blaze. In the end, the fire completely gutted the south end home and forced one neighbour to evacuate their home due to heavy smoke and the proximity to the fire.
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Snetsinger said fire crews remained on scene in the late afternoon to investigate.
“Crews will be here throughout the day; we still have a lot of salvage and overhaul to do,” he said. “We’ve called in our fire prevention team and also the Peterborough police are here and the Fire Marshal will be coming in to do a joint investigation.”
River Road has since been reopened to traffic and power has been restored to the homes in the neighbourhood, after it was temporarily cut Sunday morning by utility crews.
On Sunday night, Peterborough Fire Services said damage was pegged at $900,000. The cause of the fire was deemed to be electrical in nature.
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