PEI

Family displaced after smoke damages home in Grand River, P.E.I.

A family of four has been displaced by extensive smoke damage to their home on Highway 12 near Grand River, P.E.I., about 20 kilometres northwest of Summerside.

No fan to blow smoke from wood stove after power outage, fire department says

The Red Cross is helping the family with emergency lodging, clothing and food purchases and other basics. (CBC)

A family of four has been displaced by extensive smoke damage to their home overnight on Highway 12 near Grand River, P.E.I., about 20 kilometres northwest of Summerside.

A woman and her three-year-old child escaped unharmed, along with three cats and a dog, said Desmond Arsenault of the Wellington Fire Department.

The woman's parents, who also live at the house, were not home when firefighters got the call Monday at 10:23 p.m.

Red Cross assisting

Volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross are assisting the family with emergency lodging, clothing and food purchases and other basics.

The two-storey house can likely be repaired, Arsenault said, thought it suffered significant smoke damage, and some walls were torn down to find the source of the smoke.

It could have been much much worse.— Desmond Arsenault

"There was actually not even flames, just embers, that were in the walls, but it could have been much much worse," he said.

There was a planned power outage in the area that started Monday at 9 p.m. after a car damaged a Maritime Electric transmission pole.

When the power went out, the woman switched from the oil furnace to the wood stove for heat, Arsenault said, but smoke kept coming back into the house.

'Tremendous amount of heat'

"The chimney, I believe, wasn't quite warm enough to allow the smoke to exit through the chimney. And when the power went out, there was no fan to blow the hot air around from the wood stove," he said.

"As a result, with the chimney being partially blocked with some soot — it wasn't very bad, but just enough to the point where some of the smoke kept coming back into the home — and combined with the heat that had nowhere to go because there was no electricity to run the fan to move the heat around, it created a tremendous amount of heat around the furnace."

With files from Laura Chapin

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