Firefighters arrived to a fully engulfed house fire in Beaver Bank on Oct. 12. The home had been vacant for several years, locals say. (Jesse Austin photo)

Home “too structurally damaged” for investigators to search for evidence of its cause

BEAVER BANK: A vacant house that caught fire on Beaver Bank Road, and closed a portion of the road due to the smoke from the fire Oct. 12, was too “structurally damaged to investigate to determine a cause” fire officials say.

Shortly before 1:30 p.m., firefighters from Station 48 (Beaver Bank); Quint 9 (Metropolitan Sackville); Station 45 Fall River; Station 42 (Wellington); Station 41 (Waverley); Tanker 11 (Patton Road); Mount Uniacke fire; Station 10 (Lower Sackville); Station 50 (Hammonds Plains) all responded to the scene. HRM Fire’s rehab unit and RCMP also attended. There were 43 firefighters at the call.

Brendan Elliott, HRM spokesman, said that 911 received multiple callers on the fire.

“Most of the callers said the basement looked to be fully involved,” said Elliott on Oct. 15. “We were able to confirm the house was vacant and had no power to it.

“With that in mind, our firefighters took a defensive position in fighting the fire, meaning there would be no firefighters entering the home while fighting the fire.”

Flames shoot out the roof of the home on Beaver Bank Road on Oct. 12. (Jesse Austin photo)
Smoke billows from the house as the water hits the flames to extinguish the fire in a house that was abandoned along Beaver Bank Road on Oct. 12. (Jesse Austin photo)

According to residents, the home had been abandoned for many years and had seen some issues around squatters using it as a home in the past. It had no water or power running to it at the present time.

A post on Beaver Bank Community Watch’s Facebook page said it was the old Lively homestead.

HRM Fire asked RCMP to shut down a part of Beaver Bank Road because the thick smoke was drifting over the road, causing significant sight-line issues.Elliott said by 2:41 p.m. firefighters had mostly knocked down the fire, and the roof was gone. At around 4:30 p.m. one of the lanes was reopened on Beaver Bank.

Black smoke from the fire closed Beaver Bank road for a short time as the fire occurred. (Jesse Austin photo)

Elliott said there were challenges fighting the blaze.

“If there was any challenge to the fire it would have been ensuring the coordination of the many tankers required to maintain water supply at the scene,” said Elliott. “Also, it was a hard fire to completely extinguish because firefighters could not enter the building to dig the fire out of the walls.”

At 4:36 a.m. on Sunday, firefighters returned to the scene for a flare up. Station 48 extinguished what rekindled and crews removed a section of wood that appeared to be the culprit.

Elliott said fire investigators were not able to investigate properly due to the roof collapse, thus it is labeled as cause undetermined.