PETER CONRADI/Bullet News
Firefighters worked through the cold and snow Thursday night but could do little to save the fully engulfed home on the Niagara Parkway at the corner of Marshall Road in Niagara Falls, just south of Chippawa.
Niagara Falls Fire Chief Lee Smith said the home was virtually destroyed by the flames. What was left was torn down overnight to allow crews from two volunteer stations and one full-time station to extinguish the smoldering remains.
“It really had a foothold by the time we got there,” Smith said, adding firefighters were hampered by the fact that the closest hydrant was near F.J. Rutland School on Willoughby Drive. Fire trucks had to drive back and forth to deliver water.
“That’s what made it really difficult,” Smith said. “We practice that all the time.”
The chief said 35 firefighters and seven trucks were at the scene.
Smith said he believed two homeowners were in the house, but escaped unharmed. He said he spoke to one of the owners to make sure everyone was safe.
Smith said firefighters arrived at the scene just after 5 p.m. to find the garage in flames. He said they had hoped to save the house, but it quickly spread. Three hours later only a charred skeleton stood and excavators arrived to do the demolition work.
While no official damage estimate has been give, Smith said he though damage would come in at around $500,000.
The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office has been called in to investigate. No cause of the fire has been determined.