No injuries in early morning house fire

By Michael-Allan Marion, Brantford Expositor

A Brantford family of four is safe after a fire early Wednesday ripped through their home at 152 Campbell St.
Dwayne Armstrong, Brantford chief fire protection officer, said that working fire alarms are one reason no one was injured in the fire that broke out shortly after 2 a.m.
“The crews did an excellent job, not only of putting out the fire, but seeing that it didn’t spread to the building next door,” said Armstrong.
Lee Mels, 45, who lives nearby at 155 Alice St., said that, at 2 a.m,, he was on his way to work at Pure Metal Galvanizing on Bodine Drive when he heard crackling sounds.
“I turned around and saw the house behind mine on fire.”
He said he called 911 and then jumped in his truck to drive around the block.
“I ripped open a screen door, then I kicked at the main door until it opened,” he said. “It was all smoky inside. I took a few steps in and called for anyone inside.”
He said two children, a boy and a girl, came forward first. He took them outside to stay with his girlfriend, Nina MacPherson, who had been alerted.
Mels went back into the house for the parents. The father appeared.
“I said, ‘Where’s your wife?’ The man called to her just as she was coming out.”
The parents went across the street to join the children.
“I stayed a couple more minutes until the firefighters arrived,” he said.
“Then I drove to work.”
Victim Services of Brant helped find temporary lodging for the family.
Armstrong said firefighters arrived within five minutes of the fire call.
“The roof was fully involved,” he said.
“The fire came up to the roof and got into the insulation.”
He said the flames were quickly extinguished but firefighters remained for several hours to deal with hotspots in the attic.
The cause of the fire has yet to determined, said Armstrong, noting that it is too early for a damage estimate.
Firefighters rescued two rabbits, which were taken into the charge of the Brant County SPCA.
A Go Fund Me account with a goal of $5,000 has been set up for the family. It can be reached at