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UPDATED: Grand Falls-Windsor fire deemed non-suspicious

A guard in an RCMP vehicle minds the scene of the early morning blaze in Grand Falls-Windsor March 12, 2018.
A guard in an RCMP vehicle minds the scene of the early morning blaze in Grand Falls-Windsor March 12, 2018. - Jordan Maloney

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – The fire on Peddle Drive is not believed to be suspicious, according to RCMP.

While they posted a guard for precautionary reasons March 12, police had left the house by the morning of March 13, after a fire investigator had attended the scene.

No criminal charges have been filed.

The Grand Falls-Windsor Fire Department responded to the call for service around 4:15 a.m. March 12, as did RCMP. Fire Chief Vince MacKenzie told the Advertiser it was difficult to drive up the road and approach the fire because of thick smoke.

“Crews did an excellent job in knocking down the fire,” said MacKenzie. “They had the fire knocked down in about 20 minutes, but it took probably two hours then to do a mop up.”

The lone occupant of the house was a senior citizen who was asleep at the time of the fire. She was woken by her smoke alarm, according to the fire chief.

“I listened to her account of the fire this morning,” said MacKenzie. “It sent chills up my spine how close it was for her. She was able to make an escape, and I attribute her life being saved to a smoke alarm.”

The woman was met with heavy smoke when opening her bedroom door. She proceeded down her hallway and was hit in the face by the door that connects the house to the garage. The woman then made her way to a neighbour’s home, from which paramedics took her to hospital. She has since been released.

There is extensive damage to the home, though some personal belongings are salvageable, said MacKenzie. He also noted there was heavy fire in the rear of the home, and that the soffit was melting on all four sides of the house, indicating fire in the attic as well. Responders had to pull down ceilings and expose hidden fires.

“It was a very dangerous fire for the crews,” said MacKenzie. “They were able to do a good job and stop the fire where it was.”

MacKenzie was complimentary of the 25 firefighters who attended the blaze. They left the scene at around 7 a.m.

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