Gravenhurst Fire Department says around the dinner hour this evening (Wednesday), crews from all three Sstations attended a cottage fire on Flanagan Trail, a private cottage road in Gravenhurst. The cottage was fully engulfed and could not be saved, though crews contained it as well as kept it from spreading to nearby bunkies and sheds.
Two pumpers, three tankers, three support units and four Chief officers attended this incident. Preliminary damage estimates are expected to exceed $500,000.
The Fire Department issued the following press release
A fire has destroyed a cottage in a remote area of west Gravenhurst on the Severn River. Just before 5:30 p.m. yesterday, more than a dozen callers in quick succession called 9-1-1 to report a fire in a cottage on Flanagan Trail, a small cottage road near Morrison Lake.
Firefighters from all three Gravenhurst fire stations rushed to the scene only to find the cottage fully engulfed with the fire spreading along the ground cover towards a series of bunkies and storage sheds. Though the cottage could not be saved, firefighters managed to keep the fire from spreading further to these other buildings.
Firefighters expressed thanks to some nearby cottagers who went to the property in an attempt to extinguish the fire using portable fire extinguisher, but the fire was simply too far advanced at that point for these to be effective.
“This fire underscores the critical importance of prevention, especially for those properties that are remotely located,” said Fire Chief Larry Brassard. He urged all cottage owners to invest some time in making sure their cottages are ‘fire safe’ by ensuring electrical components are up to current standards, that flammable liquids and gases are properly stored and by undertaking sound cooking practices. “Once it starts, a fire in a cottage can double in size every minute it goes undetected or where there is no intervention, and when that property is located far from first responder resources, the results are often predictable, unfortunately.”
The property owner attended the scene later in the evening to speak with the Incident Commander. The investigation into the cause of the fire is still underway, however it is not considered suspicious at this time. The damage to the property, which is reportedly insured is estimated at $500,00.00. Approximately 35 firefighters were at the fire at its height, the last ones leaving just before midnight.
The Chief offers additional Safety Tips
• Test smoke alarms at least monthly or each time you return to the cottage. Pack a new smoke alarm and extra smoke alarm batteries in case they need replacement.
• Install and ensure carbon monoxide alarms in your cottage if it has a fuel-burning appliance.
• Develop and practice a home fire escape plan to ensure everyone knows what to do if the smoke alarm sounds.
• Know your cottage’s emergency sign number, in case of emergency.
• Clean barbecues before using them. Keep an eye on lit barbecues and ensure all combustibles, as well as children and pets are kept well away from them. Fires can happen when barbecues are left unattended.
• Keep barbecue lighters and matches out of sight and reach of children.
• Check heating appliances and chimneys before using them.
• Open air burning is prohibited during daylight hours. If burning during the evening, fires should be built on bare soil or on exposed rock. Remove leaves and twigs from around the fire to keep it from spreading.
• Always keep a bucket of water, sand, or even a shovel close by and supervise the fire at all times.
• If you must smoke, do so outside. Keep a large can with water nearby so cigarette butts can be safely discarded. If you drink, do so responsibly. Tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption are contributing factors in many fires and can lead to serious injuries.
• Burn candles in sturdy candleholders that will not tip and are covered with a glass shade. When you go out, blow out!
Posted by Jeffrey W. Knight on Wednesday, July 10, 2019