A home in North River was extensively damaged after fire broke out in the dwelling during the early hours this morning (Wednesday, July 4).
The home is located on Ashford's Lane, and the owner was away at the time.
In a unique coincidence, the chief of the Bay de Grave regional fire department, Jeremy Hall, was the first person to notice smoke billowing from the eves of the home.
Hall, an ambulance attendant, also lives in the area, and was on his way to work at about 6:30 a.m. He noticed the smoke and called the brigade into action.
Deputy Chief Aubrey Bishop said there was no visible fire when the first pumper truck arrived, but said heavy smoke was wafting from the eves.
Firefighters began venting the house to allow the smoke to exit, and then entered the home wearing breathing apparatuses. Bishop said firefighters poured about 500 gallons of water onto the fire, which originated in the basement and made its way to the main floor, and into the attic.
"It was a quick and easy knockdown," said Bishop. "But there was a lot of heat, smoke and fire damage."
Bishop would not speculate on what may have caused the fire, and noted an investigation would be carried out by other agencies.
The house looks relatively unscathed from the outside, but Bishop noted "I'm expecting it to be a write-off."
The owner of the home declined comment when approached by The Compass.
It was the second emergency response for the brigade in as many days. On July 3, volunteers with the brigade responded to a two-vehicle crash in Clarke's Beach that resulted in two people being sent to hospital.