Firefighters save home on reserve

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo A house on the Hay River Reserve is still standing after a fire on Sept. 13. However, signs of smoke above a door and a boarded-up window that was broken by firefighters to ventilate smoke are indicators of the fire the occurred inside.

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
A house on the Hay River Reserve is still standing after a fire on Sept. 13. However, signs of smoke above a door and a boarded-up window that was broken by firefighters to ventilate smoke are indicators of the fire the occurred inside.

A house on the Hay River Reserve was damaged by fire last week.

The fire happened in the early afternoon on Sept. 13 and left the residence – located on the Reserve Road close to Highway 5 – still standing but in need of repair.

Fire Chief Ross Potter of the Hay River Fire Department said the blaze happened at about 1 p.m. on Sept. 13.

“There was a failure of the furnace which caused the fire,” he said. “We responded quick enough where we were able to contain the fire itself to pretty much one room and a little bit in the hallway. There was considerable heat and smoke damage throughout the inside of the residence.”

Potter said things were actually melting inside the residence.

“Plastics and stuff like that in the living room were melting,” he said. “It was hot in there. We caught it just in time.”

The utility room, which contained the diesel furnace, was destroyed.

The exterior of the house appears largely undamaged, except for signs of smoke above a door and a boarded-up window.

Potter said the window was knocked out by firefighters to ventilate smoke from the building.

The fire chief said the house is repairable.

“The house was totally saved,” he said of the efforts of his department. “The guys did a great fire fight on it and were able to keep it to a very small area.”

However, Potter said the home is not currently livable in the aftermath of the fire.

“It’s going to have to be totally cleaned out and damages fixed and that type of thing,” he said. “It’s going to be a while before they’ll be able to live in there again.”

Potter had no estimate of the cost of the damages.

The fire chief also said there was no insurance on the building.