“Lots of water damage inside,” said Vankleek Hill Fire Chief Michel Martin during a Monday phone interview regarding the condition of the house at 81 Bertha Street, at the intersection with Caroline Street, in Vankleek Hill after a fire Saturday evening left a couple in their 50s with no home for the weekend.
Chief Martin stated that a natural gas-fuelled barbecue was the cause of the fire. He was not certain at the time whether there was a leak in one of the feeder lines or some other problem with the barbecue. But, Chief Martin noted, after the barbecue was lit for a backyard cookout that day, the flame jumped to the back side of the house.
The fire department received a call about the house fire at 6 p.m., and a crew of 21, along with the pumper truck and the rescue van, responded. Firefighters had the fire extinguished by 9 p.m., and then remained on site for another hour doing clean-up on any remaining hot spots.
No one was hurt as a result of the fire. At press time there was a request for help finding temporary accommodations for the couple until they are able to return to their own home. Anyone who knows of a furnished house or suite available can phone Mireille at 613-632-3644.
Chief Martin noted that residents who are planning on a spring outdoor barbecue should inspect their setups, including brushing a soap-and-water solution along hoses and around valves, to check for any leaks. The same advice applied if a propane tank barbecue is involved.