Fire on Fairhaven
PHOTO BY NICK ZACHARIAS
Having only moved into their ‘dream home’ six months ago, homeowners of the house on Fairhaven are devastated at its loss and that of their young dog who perished in the blaze.
By Nick Zacharias
When Peter and Sorana Gyorgy headed off to work on the morning of September 21, they did not expect to be called back within an hour to see a fire reducing their Hudson dream home to a charred shell. They had only moved into the house this spring but now had to witness its demise. No people were injured in the blaze, but their young dog did not make it out alive.
A column of black smoke
Producing a tower of black smoke that could be seen for several kilometres, the house fire on Fairhaven quickly caught the attention of neighbours who called 911 and alerted the owners. By the time the couple both made it back, a small army of fire fighters was already on site – cutting access ways and pulling away smoldering material while others sprayed water into the house from every angle.
“It was about 08:28 when we got the call,” said Daniel Leblanc, Assistant Director at the Hudson Fire Department, “and in total we had about 24 responders out from Hudson, Vaudreuil, Rigaud and Saint-Lazare.”
Cause not yet known
The blaze spread everywhere in the house and the garage, causing a cave-in on the front wall and completely destroying the roof. Flames flashed though broken windows and openings on all sides and the black smoke turned to white with the steam from water jets clashing with fire. The damage was devastating, but firefighters managed to contain and extinguish the fire before it could spread to trees or neighbouring houses.
“We’re not sure yet how it started,” said Leblanc, “though it looks like the origin area was the kitchen.” He reports that they don’t yet have an exact object pinpointed as the cause but they are going through the process of elimination with their investigation. “By the time we were done on site it was about 4:15 in the afternoon, and they were boarding up and barricading with plywood to make the site safe. Now the insurance assessors will take over to see about next steps.”
“It’s such a shame,” reported one neighbour, a sentiment echoed by several more who’d gathered. “They just got here, and they’d already done so much work renovating, building a new deck, painting, all kinds of things. I feel just terrible for them.”
At the scene, the couple struggled to process what was happening. Said Peter Gyorgy as he held onto his wife Sorana, “We lost it all, our dog, only a puppy, all our possessions and our memories, photographs, everything.” Sorana shook her head and added, “I don’t even know what to say. This was our dream home, and in half an hour it’s all gone.” She gestured at the clothing she wore saying, “now this is all I have.”
Community offers help
Many people commented and reached out on social media offering to help the family. Said Leblanc, “I’ve spoken with the owners about their needs, and the Canadian Red Cross Society offered to help with a place to stay, but it looks like for the time being they’re okay; with friends and local contacts they’ve got a place to stay and they say they have what they need. But we’ll stay in contact and continue to make sure they’re alright. It’s nice to see the people of the local and nearby communities being so quick to reach out and offer help while the family’s going through this.”