Fire destroys South Lake home
By Chad Ingram
A Minden family has lost their home and a pet after a fire destroyed a house on South Lake on Jan. 12.
Minden Hills fire chief Doug Schell said the department got the first call regarding the blaze in the Whispering Pines neighbourhood off Hamilton Road at approximately 1:45 p.m.
“It came in as a fully engulfed cottage fire,” Schell said.
There were also explosions, which cast debris around the area.
Any time a fire involves an explosion, there is a requirement for the fire marshal's office to be called.
However, in this case, the explosions were not the cause of the blaze.
“It was determined the explosions were secondary to the main fire,” Schell said, explaining the fire had caused propane tanks located outside to combust.
Schell said the final report on the fire had not been completed and the cause of the fire was not yet known.
“It could have been a number of things,” he said.
Fourteen Minden Hills firefighters and members of the department from Dysart et al attended the scene, some remaining there overnight.
While no one was home at the time of the fire, it did claim the life of the family's dog.
The family's daughter, living and working in Alberta, started a fundraising campaign on crowd-sourcing website gofundme.com to help her family get through the days following the fire.
“As of now, a lot of you know my family lost our home in Minden, Ontario yesterday,” she wrote on the fundraising page. “Everyone was out of the house at work and school but we lost our childhood dog Prince. Along with losing our furry best friend, my teenage brothers lost all their clothes, personal medals rings and certificates, football, and skiing equipment along with many every day essentials. My Mom and Dad have no work clothes, winter wear, any of their everyday essentials. But other than our dog, they are most upset about the photos and family memories they will never be able to get back. My mom just recently made dad a book for his 40th of all our family photos, it was lost in the fire along with our computers and hard drives. Luckily the website still has the book avaible to buy again. The money we raise will be going to help buy back some of those family memories, and help support them getting back on their feet.”
Within days, the fundraising goal was met and the page shut down.
“Thank you so very much to everyone who donated money, clothes and time,” the family's daughter wrote. “We are so grateful to have such loving friends and family. I am shutting down the go fund me page, as we have gone over our goal already! I am ordering the family photo book tonight, and the rest of the money will go towards clothes and everyday necessities. Thank you again!”
Another lakefront residence near Coboconk was destroyed by fire about a week prior. In that case, a propane explosion was responsible for the fire.
Schell recommends residents have their heating systems checked out before the start of the winter season each year.
“Have a professional come in, check it, clean it, every year,” he said.