(Residents of a Timbermere neighbourhood fire on Kittiwake Drive escaped barefoot and suffered frostbite and smoke inhalation on February 4, 2023. Photo: Ottawa Fire Services)
Ottawa Fire Services were kept busy on February 4th with half a dozen fires reported between 2:00am and 8:00pm in record-breaking freezing temperatures. One of those more serious fires took place in our community of Stittsville on Kittiwake Drive in the Timbermere neighbourhood.
At approximately 5:00am, Ottawa Fire had received multiple calls reporting the fire on Kittiwake, off of Chantilly Gate and Sirocco Crescent. Stations 81 and 46 responded with the first fire vehicle arriving within four minutes of the calls. The attached garage was fully engulfed with flames and smoke and had extended to a vehicle in the laneway and the house. Additional resources were called in when a ‘second alarm’ was sent to dispatch to fight this fire in the extreme cold.
At the time of the fire, five individuals were in the home, with one escaping through the front of the home and four others from the back. However, the four in the back were stranded and unable to make it to the front due to the quickly spreading fire. Several were also barefoot.
Firefighters broke down a fence to rescue the backyard individuals, placed them into one of the fire trucks and immediately began to assess their feet for frostbite. Ottawa Paramedics arrived on scene and took over the patient care. Four patients were treated for frostbite and smoke inhalation.
Hose lines were quickly directed at the neighbouring homes to protect them from any damage when the firefighters arrived.
While pulling down ceilings to access flames inside the home, firefighters had to be evacuated due to an imminent roof collapse.
OC Transpo had sent a bus to the scene to provide shelter for the firefighters from the freezing temperatures.
Firefighters thankfully rescued the five residents and their pets from the burning home – a bird, a frog, a lizard and a gecko.
With the fire under control at 10:20am, firefighters then checked on the neighbouring homes for smoke migration where they found minor smoke inside of one and low levels of carbon monoxide. Their work at saving these homes was excellent.
Victim assistance has been requested for four adults. The cause and origin of the fire is under investigation by an Ottawa Fire investigator.
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