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

Three percent accommodation tax approved for Bella Coola accommodation providers

Only fixed-room accommodation providers with four rooms or more are required to charge the tax.

U.S. consulate general to visit Northwest

Trip part of the region’s first-ever pop-up consul for American residents

B.C.’s north heats up to record highs

Bella Bella, Masset, Prince Rupert and the Cassiar Area all broke records

Sealed DNA in Phillip Tallio murder case must be released, orders Judge

A unanimous decision by B.C. Court of Appeal judges has ordered the release of a sealed DNA sample

BC Rural Dividend funds wildfire recovery projects in the Bella Coola Valley

Central Coast Regional District and Central Coast Communications Society are both receiving funds

REPLAY: B.C. this week in video

In case you missed it, here’s a look at replay-worthy highlights from across the province this week

Some surprises in new book about B.C. labour movement

“On the Line” charts history of the union movement back to the 1800s

B.C. cyclist races to first win of the season in New Zealand

Casey Brown captures Enduro title by more than two minutes at Crankworx Rotorua

Notorious Russian troll farm also took swipes at Canadian targets

Targets included oil infrastructure and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Cirque du Soleil aerialist dies after fall during Florida show

Longtime performer fell while performing in VOLTA

Canada earns second Paralympic Games silver in 20 years

Held 1-0 lead in para hockey game from 12:06 of first to dying seconds of third and lost in overtime

LETTERS: Two views of oil pipeline protests

U.S. and other petroleum-rich countries aren’t cutting production

Canadian Paralympic team picked up record 28 medals

The 55 athletes strong had set a cautious goal of 17 medals for PyeongChang

Canadian comic Mike MacDonald dies at 63

Ottawa-born comedian had performed on David Letterman

Most Read