A large blaze destroyed part of a Vankoughnet home’s roof early Thursday afternoon.
The fire broke out shortly after the noon hour at a single-story home on Highway 118 East near Oakley Crescent. Bracebridge firefighters who rushed to the scene found the building fully engulfed in flames when they arrived.
Not long after hoses were deployed, the centre of the single-storey home’s roof collapsed. Flames shot out of the gaping hole several feet into the air, sending black smoke wafting over the two-lane highway.
Local resident Aurel Dorion, who lives just down the street, said the homeowner and his wife came to his place when the blaze first erupted.
“They showed up at our place, and ‘said our house is on fire!’” he said. “I got my coat and boots on and we came over, the place was engulfed already. We couldn’t do anything.”
The homeowner and his wife were apparently not home when the fire broke out, and their pet dog is reportedly also safe. Dorion said after his wife phoned 9-1-1, he came over to the fire scene to stand with his neighbour in a show of support.
“It’s a very neighbourly place, and everybody seems to help everybody else out,” he said of the surrounding community.
Fire crews battled the fire well into the late afternoon hours, with the flames dying and resurging in intervals. A cause of the fire and the cost of damage have not yet been determined.
Pointing to the Vankoughnet community hall close by, Dorion said he hopes locals will come together to help the homeowner and his wife rebuild afterwards.
“I would say if they need help, they’ll probably get it,” he said.