A middle-aged couple received the rudest of wake-up calls early this morning.
Roused from their slumber by a smoke alarm, Paul and Marina Vaters woke to find their two-story home on Water Street in Harbour Grace on fire.
The couple were taken to nearby Carbonear General Hospital where the male was being treated for minor smoke inhalation.
At just after 3 a.m., the upper left bedroom of the couple’s home was completely engulfed in flame, and smoke was billowing heavily into the early morning air.
Harbour Grace Volunteer Fire Brigade Fire Chief Ray Verge said the couple “got out just in time.”
“With these old houses, fire takes no time to spread,” he said.
Verge said the fire was contained to the upstairs bedroom.
He commended his firefighters for a “great job” in limiting some of the damage to the home.
“(Firefighters) advanced through the house and completed a very aggressive attack on the fire,” said Verge. “(Firefighters) were able to keep the fire to that bedroom. Although the home sustained some smoke and heat damage, the fire damage was pretty much to that one area.”
It is still unclear as to what caused the early morning blaze, and fire investigators were expected to be on the scene in the next couple of days.
“We were working with police to identify some items in the rubble,” said Verge. “The cause of the fire is undetermined.”
As it is with any fire, there was the danger that the fire could jump to a neighbouring building and cause more damage.
That is especially true on Water Street in Harbour Grace, where homes can be packed together in places.
Verge said that while the threat is always there, his crews worked quickly to extinguish the fire.
“(Firefighters) were able to identify the fire … and keep the fire contained to that bedroom,” he said.