The quick action of a firefighter and a family friend might have saved the life of a woman whose house burned Sunday afternoon in Oro-Medonte.
A man who went to check in on the woman, who was home alone, saw smoke coming from the house on Line 12, just south of Highway 12, explained Oro-Medonte Acting Deputy Chief Scott Andrew. A volunteer firefighter with Severn Township then came across the scene.
“He went inside. There was another (man) already inside the house and the two of them dragged her out,” Andrew said.
According to Orillia OPP, the woman was taken to Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, where she was treated for minor injuries.
“If they didn’t go there and drag her out, this would be a whole different conversation,” Andrew said.
Emergency crews responded to the fire at about 5 p.m. The response included about 45 firefighters from four Oro-Medonte stations, and Severn firefighters were called in for mutual aid. When crews arrived, “the whole right side of the house was fully involved,” Andrew said.
“The toughest thing for us was it had a steel roof. A steel roof holds everything inside,” he said. “It spread rapidly.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation by the Oro-Medonte Fire Department, Orillia OPP and the Office of the Fire Marshal. Andrew said the cost of the damage would be at least $500,000.
Firefighters were on the scene for about six hours. The house, which was completely destroyed, was still smouldering Monday afternoon and crews were working on putting out the hotspots.
Crews responded to the same location about 15 years ago for a fire. The same woman lived at the residence at the time, Andrew said, but he believes she was not injured in that incident.