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UPDATED: Quick-acting citizens help fire victim get out safely; damage at $250,000

Published on

Tara Jeffrey

A couple of quick-acting citizens helped ensure a house fire on St. Clair Parkway didn’t end worse than it could have, Friday morning.

Jason Rogerson was on his way to work at Shell’s Corunna refinery when he spotted smoke and flames coming from the roof of a home on the corner of Lasalle Line and St. Clair Parkway, just before 6 a.m.

“At that time of the morning, there’s not many people around, so I pulled over,” Rogerson said, adding that at other drivers, including two other Shell employees – Cory Sommise and Chris Abrams – did the same. “We called 911 and just started hammering on all the doors and windows.”

Once the lone occupant, an adult male, was out and safe, Rogerson and the others ensured no one else was in the home before grabbing a hose from the neighbours’ yard.

“We went to the north side of the house and flames were shooting out from the attic,” he added. “So we started hosing down the roof until we heard the sirens coming.

“The whole thing took about 10 to 15 minutes.”

Damage is estimated at $250,000 following a fire at this home on St. Clair Parkway, Friday morning. (Journal photo)

Crew from both the St. Clair Fire department and Sarnia Fire & Rescue Service responded to the blaze, which led to the closure of the intersection for much of the morning. 

“Upon arrival Sarnia firefighters found St. Clair fire crews in the process of mitigating a fire which had breached the roof,” a news release from Sarnia Fire Rescue noted.” Due to the proximity of the property to the boundary between jurisdictions of St. Clair and Sarnia, both fire departments were initially present. Sarnia Fire took over operations upon their arrival.”

Chief Fire Prevention Officer Roel Bus said the fire was concentrated to the north side of the attic, which had been converted to bedrooms.

“The presence of knee walls, behind which the fire was burning, made initial attack more difficult. It was brought under control quickly.”

The cause of the fire was found to be a bathroom fan, igniting nearby combustibles.

“The fire spread into the space behind the knee walls in the attic, and severely damaged the underside of the roof. There is no suspicion of criminal activity.”

Damage is estimated at $250,000.

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