Nova Scotia

Fatal house fire under investigation in Hants County

Neighbours called in a house fire in St. Croix, N.S., Friday evening and when emergency crews arrived the home was engulfed in flames. One person was found dead inside.

Man found dead inside a home in St. Croix

The home on Davis Road was destroyed by the blaze. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

A man is dead as a result of a fire that ripped through a home in Hants County, N.S., Friday.

Neighbours alerted police and fire crews around 5:30 p.m. about a fire on Davis Road, just off Highway 1 in the community of St. Croix.

Ryan Richard, chief of the Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department, said about 40 firefighters from six stations responded and found the home engulfed, with flames coming through the front windows and roof.

"Fire and smoke could be seen from quite a ways away," Richard said.

A Brooklyn Volunteer Fire Department truck is shown parked outside the home the morning after the fatal fire. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

Richard said crews did a "rapid search" of the single-storey home, but they didn't find the homeowner right away. Part of the roof had collapsed. The floor and stairs to the basement were compromised, he said.

"Bystanders confirmed that the homeowner did not have a vehicle and that there was a pretty good chance he was still inside," Richard said.

Neighbours tried to help

Tasha Rudolph, a neighbour, was among the bystanders. She said she was in her yard when she heard someone screaming about a house on fire. 

"By the time I got down there there was one other fella down there, trying to bang on the doors and see if anybody was in there but the whole place was in flames," Rudolph said.

"It was was shocking, I was shaking the whole time."

Rudolph said she and the other neighbours stepped back when flames started blowing out the windows and doors.

Tasha Rudolph said she and other rushed to help, but backed away from the home when flames started blowing out the doors and windows. (Haley Ryan/CBC)

Fire crews controlled the fire in about two hours, and then found the victim inside. Richard said the homeowner was an elderly man who had two cats that also died in the fire.

There was heavy snowfall across the province for much of Friday, which Richard said made for challenging conditions. Snow was still coming down while crews fought the blaze, and roads were narrowed by accumulation, making it difficult to get trucks and equipment close to the home, he said.

RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Angela Corscadden said the fire marshal and medical examiner are involved in an investigation.

The cause of the blaze has not been determined, but it is not believed to be suspicious.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Taryn Grant

Reporter

Taryn Grant is a Halifax-based reporter and web writer for CBC Nova Scotia. You can email her with tips and feedback at taryn.grant@cbc.ca

With files from Haley Ryan

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