In the early morning hours of August 3, several major storms rocked the area, including one storm in Kemptville that dealt a devastating lightning strike to a house in the eQuinelle subdivision. The lightning strike caused a major fire, which left the house still standing but uninhabitable.
Neighbours in the area at the time of the lightning strike reported that it sounded like an “explosion”. Flames were clearly visible pouring out of the top story of the home in Royal Landing Gate in the northwest end of town.
All people in the house managed to escape unharmed – thanks to smoke detectors – but only one out of three pets was able to be saved. Two cats and one hamster were removed from the building, but only one cat was successfully treated for the resulting smoke inhalation. The Times offers its condolences for the loss of the pets.
The family affected by the fire – consisting of four now-displaced individuals – did have insurance, and the Office of the Fire Marshall has officially designated the cause of the fire as accidental (a lightning strike).
There have been many intense storms in the local area this summer, with some producing tornadoes in the Ottawa area, and many producing significant lightning, large hail, and strong winds.
The quick escape of the family from the eQuinelle house on August 3 highlights the life saving nature of having working smoke detectors. A new provincial campaign called “Saved by the Beep” is underway to bring awareness to the importance of installing and testing smoke detectors.
“Thursday Sept. 28, 2023, is Ontario’s first Test Your Smoke Alarm Day!”, reads a section of the Saved by the Beep website. “Last year, there were 133 fire fatalities in the Province – the most in 20 years. As part of Test Your Smoke Alarm Day, all Ontarians are encouraged to learn more about smoke alarms, fire safety, and home fire escape planning, which can save the lives of you and your loved ones. Most importantly, we want you to test your smoke alarms! We’ve created free, downloadable resources in multiple languages so everyone can share this safety message.”
For more information, visit http://savedbythebeep.ca/.