A toy car is seen on the property of a house destroyed in a weekend fire in Pubnico Head, N.S. on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Four killed, including two children, in Nova Scotia house fire

Man rescued from fatal house fire ‘struggling to stay alive’. The fire left four people dead, including at least two children.

A Nova Scotia man was fighting for his life Monday, a day after a fire that swept through his rural home killed four people, including at least two young children, a family member says.

Ervin Olsen, great-grandfather of two children who died in the Pubnico, N.S., blaze, said the father of at least one of the children remains in hospital.

“We’re at the hospital now and … the father is struggling to stay alive,” he said.

The Canadian Red Cross has said the father’s common-law wife is with him in hospital, that their blended family lived in the home and that an infant boy was among those killed in the blaze.

The ferocious blaze cut through the bitter cold early Sunday in the small lobster-fishing community in the province’s southern tip.

Yellow police tape surrounded the charred ruins of the two-storey roadside home that was reduced to a pile of blackened beams after an excavator ripped down several walls to allow fire officials to get inside.

Police are not releasing the identities or details on the number of fatalities. RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said the fire marshal, the medical examiner’s office and the force’s major crimes unit are all involved in the investigation. But, she said that doesn’t necessarily mean police suspect foul play.

“That doesn’t really speak to the type of incident or mean that it is suspicious,” she said. “It is a complex investigation. We do have those resources, so we are making use of them.”

West Pubnico Fire Chief Gordon Amiro said it could be days before the cause of the fire is known.

“It will probably be the end of the week before we know,” he said Monday. “There was a wood stove in the structure. We presume that’s probably what happened, but we don’t know yet.”

An ambulance was first to arrive on the scene of the house fire, Amiro said, and it took two adult survivors to hospital.

Firefighters arrived at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, about 12 minutes after the call came in, he said.

Flames had already engulfed the house and were “coming through the roof and everywhere,” Amiro said.

“There was no way of going into the house. It was just a matter of putting the fire out,” he said. ”There was nothing we could do in that situation.”

In all, five fire departments and 40 firefighters responded to the deadly blaze. Firefighters stayed on the scene for nearly 18 hours — returning late Sunday night to respond to a flare-up, Amiro said.

“It was the longest time I’ve spent at a house fire in my life,” said the veteran firefighter, who has volunteered at the local department for 40 years. “It took us two and a half hours to get the flames down and then we had to put out the hot spots.”

Residents of the area identified the father as a lobster fisherman.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

‘Beauty amongst such tragedy:’ B.C. photographer captures nature’s trifecta

David Luggi’s photo from a beach in Fraser Lake shows Shovel Lake wildfire, Big Dipper and an aurora

Police patrol for looters in evacuated areas south of Burns Lake

RCMP have brought in extra officers for the task

Pool opening further delayed

A deficiency in the tile works has setback its completion, city says

Terrace fire ban now includes Ferry Island

The ban will be in place until further notice

Four Rivers Co-op collecting donations for wildfire relief

The co-op is matching all donations they receive for the Red Cross

Canadians fear for relatives trapped amid flooding in Indian state of Kerala

More than 800,000people have been displaced by floods and landslides

IndyCar driver Wickens flown to hospital after scary crash

IndyCar said Wickens was awake and alert as he was taken to a hospital

Ex-BCTF president ‘undeterred’ after early release from pipeline protest jail term

Susan Lambert and Order of Canada recipient Jean Swanson released early

Fast food chains look to capitalize on vegetarian, vegan trend with new items

Seven per cent of Canadians consider themselves vegetarians and 2.3 per cent identify as vegans

B.C. swimmer halts journey across Strait of Juan de Fuca after hypothermia sets in

Victoria MS athlete Susan Simmons swam for eight-and-a-half hours in 9 C choppy waters

‘Hard on water:’ Smoke not the only long-range effect of wildfires

The project began more than 10 years ago after southern Alberta’s 2003 Lost Creek fire

B.C. VIEWS: Genuine aboriginal rights are misused and discredited

Camp Cloud one of long line of protests falsely asserting title

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to march in Montreal’s Pride parade

Trudeau will end the day in his home riding of Papineau

Most Read