A Glen Williams family lost their home and most of their possessions after fire gutted their Mountainview Rd. house Sunday evening. From a neighbour's home Tuesday where the family is staying, Jane McKenzie said she was in the kitchen at approximately 9:30 p.m. when she looked up and saw "massive flames" above her refrigerator. She called out to her two kids Sarah, 14, and Holden, 16, and R.J. Hagen, 16, who is staying with the family.
Her kids were in their beds upstairs and R.J. was in the computer room on the first floor. Sarah, whose bedroom was directly above the blaze, had pulled a plug out of the wall when she saw sparks coming out of the outlet, and ran downstairs. With the smoke alarms blaring, Jane attempted to extinguish the blaze with a fire extinguisher, and in the meantime R.J. ran upstairs to wake Holden and get him out of the house. "Thank God for R.J.," said Jane's husband Scott, who was visiting a neighbour when the fire started. The fire extinguisher didn't deter the flames, and when Jane attempted to call 911 her phone was dead. With everyone, including dog Boston, out safely, Jane rushed outside and hollered to neighbours Scott and Sarah Simpson to call 911. "If it had been a couple of hours later, who knows, we could be dead," said Jane.
Before firefighters arrived, next door neighbour Neil Gray, who saw flames from his window, attempted to put out the fire but was overcome by smoke and forced back outside. He suffered smoke inhalation and was taken to hospital for treatment but has since been released. R.J. and Sarah also went to hospital to be checked out, but both were released. A spokesperson for Halton Hills Fire Protection and Prevention Services said getting control of the blaze was a struggle for firefighters as it escalated quickly throughout the more than 130-year-old home. Spaces left in areas where additional roofs were constructed in the old home, added major complications for the fire crews who worked in extreme weather conditions for hours to extinguish the fire. "Staff confronted a very difficult challenge given the conditions of Mother Nature and the extent of the fire. The crews never gave up for a moment," said Chief of Operations John Martin. The family has stayed with neighbours since the fire. "Our neighbours have just rallied around. Everyone's been so wonderful," said Jane. "We've got some great friends." The fire department said damage to the home is estimated at $300,000 and the fire started in the kitchen area of the home. Jane said they believe the cause was electrical. The family was fully insured and do not require assistance from the community. Scott said they were very impressed with their insurance broker Paul Armstrong, who came to see them the next morning. "He just put me right at ease," said Scott