'It caught fast' Burk's Falls man homeless following house fire Jan. 14

·2 min read

A house fire in Burk’s Falls closed Highway 520 in both directions on Thursday, Jan. 14 while region fire departments responded to the call.

The fire started at approximately 11 a.m., according to Burk’s Falls fire Chief Dave McNay.

As of 1:41 p.m., asked if the fire was under control, McNay replied that operations had not given that information nor the cause of the fire. At 4:19 p.m., the Ministry of Transportation announced the highway had reopened to traffic.

“I can’t tell you much until we get inside to investigate,” McNay said, adding that there were five fire departments on the scene.

“I’m appreciative of our neighbours’ support.”

There were two people living inside of the house and both were home at the time of the fire.

Paul Watson lived there with his roommate and said it all happened so fast.

“My buddy was lying down in his room watching TV and I saw the smoke coming from downstairs,” said Watson. “I went to check it out — it was in the room by the furnace room, it was in the floor already and up above — it caught fast.”

“By the time I got upstairs again, you couldn’t even see in the house because of the smoke.”

Behind Watson, the house was still smouldering, but he said that he and his roommate were OK.

“We lost our cat, I think,” he said, sadly. “We had her for three or four years.”

Asked if he had a place to stay for the night, Watson replied that they were still trying to figure that out and had been in contact with a crisis management service.

Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, muskokaregion.com