Nfld. & Labrador

Father dies, son escapes, after fire destroys Burnt Cove home

A father and son were the only people home when their residence caught fire on Sunday morning, and while the son was able to escape in time, his father wasn't able to get out before it was too late.

One person dead following Sunday fire in Southern Shore community

A Burnt Cove fire has taken the life of one man. (Salvation Army/Twitter)

It's a sombre day for the small Southern Shore community of Burnt Cove. 

A father and son were the only people home when their residence caught fire on Sunday morning, and while the son was able to escape in time, his father wasn't able to get out before it was too late.

Witless Bay Fire Department Chief Fabian St. Croix says that by the time his crew arrived in the community, the fire was spiraling out of control, aided by heavy winds that made it difficult to contain.

"We're in a place where we don't have hydrants, so we had to relay water, carry it by tankard. It was quite a long time to get it under control.

"We had heavy flame coming from all doors and windows. We had to get that under control before we could make an entry." 

Investigation is ongoing

On Sunday afternoon, after the fire was contained, the man's body was discovered by firefighters.

"His son happens to be mentally delayed, so it made it much harder on him, but he's with family members and they're looking after him right now," said St. Croix.

Every single member of the Witless Bay Fire Department is a volunteer, and St. Croix said he's taking care to make sure his crew is handling the incident well.

"We do a critical incident debriefing and such, and we look after each other quite well. But I'll continue to monitor the guys in the coming days."

Ferryland Royal Canadian Mounted Police were on the scene Sunday as well, and the Salvation Army provided sideline support to the first responders.

All that remained of the home by Sunday evening was a shell of the exterior and debris. 

An investigation into the fire is ongoing.

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