An elderly man, who was awakened by a blaring smoke alarm, was able to escape a fire that destroyed his home early this morning.
Oro-Medonte firefighters from four different stations responded to the "fully-involved" structure fire on Lakeshore Road East, just before 4 a.m. on Friday morning.
According to Oro-Medonte Fire Chief Hugh Murray, the home's lone occupant, an elderly male, was alerted by working smoke alarms and escaped safely.
“The fact that the home had working smoke alarms provided early detection and notification to the occupant allowing them to escape the dangers of this fire,” Murray said in an emailed statement.
“Oro-Medonte Fire and Emergency Services would like to remind everyone to check, test, and inspect their home smoke and carbon monoxide alarms so that they do their job when needed," he added.
The origin and cause of the blaze is still under investigation; however, the Ontario Fire Marshal will not be required to attend the scene, Murray says.
A nearby neighbour, Chris Dennie, was alerted to the emergency when he heard the fire trucks race through his neighbourhood.
“We could smell smoke from where we were which is just around the corner. We took a drive to make sure our friends who live close by were OK, and that’s when we saw the home on fire," Dennie said.
“When we got there, they hadn’t started putting water on it or anything; there was nothing left to save at that point. The frame of the house was left and that was it. The roof had collapsed, everything was gone."
Dennie says the flames soared high into the dark night.
“It was a massive fire, 40- to 50-foot flames,” he said.
Murray estimates the fire caused about $500,000 in damages.