Nfld. & Labrador

Charles Pender unapologetic after fire flattens Pinchgut Lake home

Residents in Pinchgut Lake on Newfoundland's west coast are using garden hoses and buckets of water to try and put out a fire.

'Two propane tanks exploded and it all went up in the air. It was unreal.'

Some residents use a garden hose to try and save a nearby shed after a fire destroyed a home in Pinchgut Lake Thursday afternoon. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

Residents in Pinchgut Lake on Newfoundland's west coast used garden hoses and buckets of water to try to put out a fire.

Because Pinchgut Lake is outside Corner Brook city limits, no fire department responded. However, one firefighter happened to be on the scene Thursday afternoon.

Aaron Sheppard is a firefighter in Corner Brook, but he was on holiday in the George's Lake area nearby when he heard about the fire and went to offer assistance.

Sheppard said he knows the Corner Brook Fire Department is unable to respond to fires outside the city's boundaries, so he wanted to help the residents battle the fire.

The fire had been burning for about two hours by 1:30 p.m., and area residents were seen using a garden hose to spray water on a nearby shed in an attempt to save it from the flames.

Witnesses told CBC News that seven people lived in the home, but everyone got out safely and there were no injuries.

Other residents were trying to put the fire out using large buckets of water.

No official cause of the fire is known, but witness Tony Power said he saw the fire start and two propane tanks exploding.

"Oh my God, I've never seen a fire so bad. It just was like a inferno," Power said. 

"It just went up. Two propane tanks exploded and it all went up in the air. It was unreal."

Power recalls the Corner Brook Fire Department responding to a fire in the area this time last year.

Newfoundland Power was on the scene, cutting power lines to the home.

Meanwhile, Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender responded to complaints on Twitter of the fire department not responding to the call.

"We are have no responsibility to respond to structure fires outside of city jurisdiction," Pender wrote in one tweet.

"This was bound to happen at some point, very unfortunate," Pender wrote.

"Hope everyone is OK."

With files from Colleen Connors