Lightning may have sparked Brant fire

Damage was pegged at more than $1 million at a Saturday evening fire on Robinson Road in Brant County where witnesses said an estate home may have been hit by lightning. Photo courtesy of Shaun Quin.

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Lightning may be the cause of a fire Saturday evening that destroyed a home on Robinson Road in Brant County.

Damage is estimated at more than $1 million, said Brant County fire chief Geoff Hayman.

“The fire had a significant head start when we arrived,” said Hayman.

“We found no nearby fire hydrant and a 300-metre long driveway so there wasn’t a lot of room for our tankers. Our guys did a really good job under the circumstances.”

Hayman said five county stations responded to the fire, with up to 45 volunteer firefighters working the tankers and an aerial truck.

Robinson Road runs off Highway 24, west of Brantford and between Paris and Burford.

“We’re not sure of the point of origin but witnesses indicated there was a significant lightning strike in the area around that time.”

There were no residents in the home when the fire began. An alarm system detected some sort of problem and sent a warning to an alarm company.

Hayman said the home had an attached garage that housed valuable antique vehicles. While the garage wasn’t burned, some of the ceiling and roof collapsed inward on the vehicles, he said.

“They may be salvageable.”

Hayman said the firefighters brought in an excavator to take apart the burning embers and ensure the fire couldn’t flare up again.

“The Fire Marshal’s Office has been notified but, once you use an excavator, the ability to pinpoint a cause is limited.”

Mohawk College photography student Shaun Quin was passing the fire Saturday evening and stopped to take photos.

“I’ve can’t overstate the amazing teamwork between the first-responders, the police, hydro workers and workers from Union Gas. They had amazing co-ordination,” said Quin.

“I left there thinking there could not be more capable people handling the situation.”

 

 

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