Ottawa Fire Services say no one was injured when a home surrounded by water in Constance Bay in Ottawa’s rural west end caught fire early on Wednesday morning — the second home in that flood zone to catch fire in less than 48 hours.
Two adults and a child were in the single-storey, riverfront property at 112 Allbirch Road when the blaze started shortly before 5:30 a.m., but a neighbour helped them evacuate quickly while another dialled 911, Ottawa fire’s public information officer Danielle Cardinal said.
The house belongs to a volunteer firefighter, the fire department later confirmed.
Firefighters got the call at 5:24 a.m. and had the blaze under control at 6:03 a.m., Cardinal said.
The cause of the fire and damage estimates are under investigation.
Unlike the fire at 795 Bayview Drive late on Monday night, firefighters were able to enter the house on Allbirch, find where the fire began and extinguish it in what Cardinal described as a “quick and rapid attack.” Crews had to use boats to reach the home and a ladder truck was also used, she said.
Constance Bay is one of the Ottawa communities most hard-hit by record-breaking flooding this spring.
Because the City of Ottawa is moving to shut down power in certain parts of the community, Cardinal said the local fire station in Dunrobin had additional staff working at the time of the Allbirch fire, which allowed crews to respond efficiently to the blaze on Wednesday morning.
“It was a co-ordinated team effort … considering the circumstances and the challenges,” Cardinal said.
No firefighters were injured during the incident, she confirmed.
On Tuesday evening, the city strongly advised households living between 600 to 956 Bayview Drive in Constance Bay to evacuate, saying that water levels in the area were reaching dangerous heights and may reach electrical metres near those homes.
The city cannot force residents to leave their homes, but officials have been warning repeatedly that emergency crews won’t be able to safely access properties and help residents if the water gets too high.
“… the recent fires in Constance Bay are a good indication that things could get a lot worse for the occupants and firefighters,” Ottawa’s fire chief Kim Ayotte tweeted later on Wednesday morning.
“Please heed the evacuation orders for improved public and emergency responders safety!”
Ottawa has been under a state of emergency since April 25.