July 4, 2019 11:49 am
Updated: July 5, 2019 4:27 am

2 houses heavily damaged, one cat dead after North End Halifax fire

WATCH: A Halifax family of four is grateful to be alive after escaping a blaze Thursday afternoon. Elizabeth McSheffrey has the details.

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A family of four is safe and unharmed after flames engulfed their Halifax home on Thursday afternoon.

Firefighters appeared on scene around 12:20 p.m., shortly after police reported taking a call from a screaming resident, who wanted to go back inside the Sullivan Street house to save his pets.

An officer stopped the man from entering, and two animals – a dog and a lizard – made it out safely. The family’s cat could not be resuscitated, and was the only casualty of the blaze.

First responders confirmed no one was injured, but the four residents are now said to be displaced.

“Obviously if you guys were on scene earlier, they were pretty distraught, however with that said, everybody is safe and sound and that’s the most important thing,” Halifax District Fire Chief Mike Blackburn told reporters.

Neighbour Kennedy Turner, who is currently housing the family’s dog, described the moment she saw the house go up in smoke.

“It just lit up, like a bunch of orange just lit up onto the back of the house. It was insane,” she said.

“I was like, oh my god, is everybody safe, is everybody out? Like, Joe was trying to go back in to get their cat. I was screaming out to him, I was like, you’re not going back inside this house, you’re staying outside, it’s not safe for you to go in there.”

Halifax resident Kennedy Turner called 911 when she saw her neighbours’ house go up in flames on Thurs. July 4, 2019.

Elizabeth McSheffrey/Global News

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Firefighters still don’t know what started the blaze, but it’s believed to have begun at 5526 Sullivan Street in the North End. Two neighbouring houses were damaged, but all three residences are believed to be salvageable.

Blackburn said extra crews were called in to fight the fire as temperatures outside reached a scorching 30 degrees. Smoke and ash filled the air as the family, their friends and neighbours gathered outside the smouldering scene.

“Tough day, obviously, as you can see all the responders here today are working hard,” said Blackburn. “They’ll get rehabbed, recycled, we’ll put them back in as much as they can, we’ve got multiple units here for that reason alone.”

The area of Sullivan Street, Novalea Drive and Isleville Street has since been reopened to the public, and fire crews left the scene around 3:30 p.m. as investigators arrived.

The Canadian Red Cross says they’ve assisted eight people who were displaced in the blaze.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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