A toy car is seen on the property of a house destroyed in a weekend fire in Pubnico Head, N.S. on Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan

Four killed, including two children, in Nova Scotia house fire

Man rescued from fatal house fire ‘struggling to stay alive’. The fire left four people dead, including at least two children.

A Nova Scotia man was fighting for his life Monday, a day after a fire that swept through his rural home killed four people, including at least two young children, a family member says.

Ervin Olsen, great-grandfather of two children who died in the Pubnico, N.S., blaze, said the father of at least one of the children remains in hospital.

“We’re at the hospital now and … the father is struggling to stay alive,” he said.

The Canadian Red Cross has said the father’s common-law wife is with him in hospital, that their blended family lived in the home and that an infant boy was among those killed in the blaze.

The ferocious blaze cut through the bitter cold early Sunday in the small lobster-fishing community in the province’s southern tip.

Yellow police tape surrounded the charred ruins of the two-storey roadside home that was reduced to a pile of blackened beams after an excavator ripped down several walls to allow fire officials to get inside.

Police are not releasing the identities or details on the number of fatalities. RCMP Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said the fire marshal, the medical examiner’s office and the force’s major crimes unit are all involved in the investigation. But, she said that doesn’t necessarily mean police suspect foul play.

“That doesn’t really speak to the type of incident or mean that it is suspicious,” she said. “It is a complex investigation. We do have those resources, so we are making use of them.”

West Pubnico Fire Chief Gordon Amiro said it could be days before the cause of the fire is known.

“It will probably be the end of the week before we know,” he said Monday. “There was a wood stove in the structure. We presume that’s probably what happened, but we don’t know yet.”

An ambulance was first to arrive on the scene of the house fire, Amiro said, and it took two adult survivors to hospital.

Firefighters arrived at 12:30 a.m. Sunday, about 12 minutes after the call came in, he said.

Flames had already engulfed the house and were “coming through the roof and everywhere,” Amiro said.

“There was no way of going into the house. It was just a matter of putting the fire out,” he said. ”There was nothing we could do in that situation.”

In all, five fire departments and 40 firefighters responded to the deadly blaze. Firefighters stayed on the scene for nearly 18 hours — returning late Sunday night to respond to a flare-up, Amiro said.

“It was the longest time I’ve spent at a house fire in my life,” said the veteran firefighter, who has volunteered at the local department for 40 years. “It took us two and a half hours to get the flames down and then we had to put out the hot spots.”

Residents of the area identified the father as a lobster fisherman.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Faust faces challenger in RDCK Area E

In Area F, Tom Newell is elected by acclamation

Lost sheep returned to the fold — stolen sculpture reappears

The Castlegar Sculpturewalk sculpture was reported missing Tuesday.

Ex-MLA Evans pitches proportional representation

Advocates say about half of population is aware of referendum

Trail bus line readies to takeover Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines must have a booking site up by Sept. 30; two vehicles activated by Oct. 26

Balfour Golf Course ends 81-year drought at Boyd Cup

Balfour edged Granite Pointe and Birchbank by just one stroke

64 cats seized from ‘bad situation’ now in BC SPCA care

The surrender is part of an ongoing animal cruelty investigation with BC SPCA Special Constable

B.C. hockey product eyes shot at Olympic spot with China

Fletcher is one of 24 who travelled to Shenzhen, China for the first official Olympic dev camp.

Are you feeling lazy? That’s OK – it’s just science

UBC study shows that humans are hardwired to prefer being sloth-like

LETTER: Who do we blame for the tragedy of Marrisa Shen’s death?

The B.C. girl was killed in a Burnaby park last July

Competition tribunal to hear B.C.-based case on airline food starting in October

The competition commissioner argued Vancouver airport authority had exploited its market position

Seek compromise with U.S. on cannabis at border, lawyers urge Ottawa

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency sent tremors through Canada’s burgeoning cannabis sector

Trudeau says Canada wants to see ‘movement’ before signing revised NAFTA deal

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is back in Washington in search of a way to bridge divide

Young people need us to act on climate change, McKenna tells G7 ministers

Catherine McKenna led off the three-day Halifax gathering Wednesday

East Kootenay town considers public smoking ban ahead of cannabis legalization

Under the proposed regulations, anyone caught smoking or vaping in public will face a $2000 fine

Most Read