Nova Scotia

Firefighters forced to destroy burning house to save neighbourhood

An overnight fire levelled a three-storey house in Cape Breton, N.S.

Crews battle Broughton blaze overnight and spend morning putting out hot spots 

Donkin Deputy Chief Bobby Reid puts out hot spots this morning. (George Mortimer/CBC)

An overnight fire levelled a three-storey house in Cape Breton, N.S.

Four fire departments were called to the blaze at 1163 Broughton Road Wednesday evening.

The wooded area has few fire hydrants and Donkin Deputy Chief Bobby Reid said getting water to the fire was a challenge.

"There's not a hydrant for miles. It's a water shuttle is what it is," he said. "It's just a collaboration of all of the departments coming together and doing their job together."

The three-storey house was destroyed to prevent the fire from spreading to the woods. (George Mortimer/CBC)

Reid said moving water to the fire was the biggest task.

"I have 750 gallons and once I'm empty, I've got to disconnect and run to Birch Grove and I have to fill up again, come back out here, dump what I can on it and hope it stays down," he said.

Reid said they had to demolish the home to put out the fire before it spread to the surrounding woods.

"There's nothing left," he said. "That's how it goes and that was the easiest way, to knock it down, to have it torn down, especially in a situation like this with no water."

The fire burned through the night. (George Mortimer/CBC)

Michael Ludlow lives on the same street and he spent the night watching the fire.

Ludlow is grateful to the volunteer firefighters for keeping the fire away from the woods, which would have put everyone's house at risk.

"You can't say enough for the firemen. They never stopped all night," he said. "With this dry weather here, they have to make sure the fire's out because the woods are pretty dry this time of the year."

Ludlow knows the owner but did not see him at the fire scene. He said the neighbourhood will rally to help the homeowner. 

Police were on the scene overnight. The fire marshal will be at the site today to decide if police need to be investigate.