Article from Lindsay This Week Newspaper

Causes of two fires may remain a mystery

Fire officials say they may never know what caused three homes to burn to the ground in the city this past week, causing more than $500,000 in damage.

Shortly before 9 a.m. last Friday firefighters from Kirkfield, Carden, and Woodville arrived at 11 Macpherson Crescent in Eldon Township to find a seasonal home totally engulfed by flames.

The blaze went on to level the vacation property, causing about $95,000 in damage.

City of Kawartha Lakes deputy fire chief Pat Twohey says the fire started in the living room area of the residence but the cause of the fire has gone down as "indeterminable" due to the massive damage done to the property.

"There wasn't much left to investigate because when we got there the structure was already destroyed," he said, noting no one had used the cottage since the weekend before.

In a second blaze at about 9:41 a.m. Monday, 20 firefighters from Norland, Burnt River, Coboconk, and Baddow converged on 652 Doyle Road, northwest of Coboconk, to find a 1,200-square-foot raised bungalow on fire.

The fire eventually gutted the home, causing an estimated $180,000 in damage.

A family pet was also killed in the blaze.

Deputy chief Twohey says the fire has been ruled "accidental."

"It started in the basement in a bedroom," he says, but notes it will remain unclear how the fire started.

"There were four people in the home at the time who knew there was a fire and they tried to put it out themselves."

Deputy chief Twohey says the blaze was already out of control when firefighters arrived because of the delay before 911 was called.

Later Monday morning, a third fire erupted at 69 Indian Trail, near Pleasant Point Road in Fenelon Township, that went on to cause about $230,000 in damage.

Deputy chief Twohey says investigators determined the fire started in an upstairs unit of the home being rented at the time but the cause has also been ruled "indeterminable."

He says the owner of the home smelled smoke and heard crackling inside his house before the fire erupted but believed it was coming from his woodstove and simply opened the windows in the lower portion of the home.

"If he had some type of connecting smoke alarms he might have known the upstairs was on fire," deputy chief Twohey says.

"In cases like this if they have smoke alarms upstairs they will be notified downstairs (of the fire)."

He says the tenant in the upstairs of the home was working when the fire broke out, and the fire department wasn't notified of the blaze until it was too late.

A family pet was also killed in the fire.