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

Stettler Festival of Lights raises $109,558

Money going towards upgrades to Stettler Hospital emergency room

Stettler County reveals its 2019 calendar

Names winners whose photos are featured in calendar

Retired B.C. teacher a YouTube Sudoku sensation

A retired Kelowna teacher has amassed quite the following online by teaching the art of solving a Sudoku puzzle.

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

Firm says trees obstructing vision at Humboldt Broncos crash intersection

Sixteen people died and 13 others were injured in the collision at an intersection north of Tisdale

Three victims of ex-ski coach Bertrand Charest suing Alpine Canada

The victims are also seeking $150,000 each in punitive damages

Trudeau names four new senators, filling every seat in the Senate

Trudeau has appointed 49 senators since becoming prime minister and will have the chance to appoint more in 2019

Judge gives Michael Cohen 3 years in prison

Judge William H. Pauley III said Cohen deserved a harsh punishment for crimes including tax evasion

Humboldt Broncos, cannabis, Fortnite: Here are Canadians’ top Google searches for 2018

When celebrities died or Canada Post went on strike, Canada turned to Google

Condominium market still ‘a lot better’ than normal in Vancouver suburbs

The Fraser Valley, east of Metro Vancouver, has long been considered a more affordable haven for first-time homebuyers.

UN chief returns as climate talks teeter closer to collapse

Predictions from international climate expert, warn that global warming is set to do irreversible environmental damage.

Most Read