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Family flees house fire with just clothes they were wearing

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A family of four got out of their Paisley home unharmed as it burned late Thursday morning.

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The fire was discovered  after power went out in the brick, 1 1/2 story house at 547 Queen S. N., acting Paisley Fire Department Chief Dave Teeple said Friday.

When resetting the breaker didn’t work, a member of the household went outside and saw smoke.  The family left immediately, with only the clothes they were wearing, Teeple said.

They remained at a neighbours’ before spending the night at a motel in Port Elgin. Victim Services Bruce Grey Perth offered assistance.

Smoke was seen from the fire hall, a block and a half from the fire scene, on the village’s main street. Firefighters got the call at 11:40 a.m. and when firefighters arrived, fire was burning through the home’s roof.

Police reported no one was inside and so firefighters attacked the flames from the outside defensively, before moving into the home after approximately an hour to finish putting the fire out, Teeple said. They drew water from a municipal hydrant on the property. Neighbouring residences weren’t damaged.

Teeple was among about 20 members of the Paisley Fire Department who responded. Chesley sent seven firefighters and one person from Bruce Power’s fire department was summoned to refill air bottles.

Teeple said the fire was deemed not suspicious and it appeared to start in the attic, but no cause was determined.

Police helped control traffic while an ambulance stood by.

No firefighters were injured. They left the scene by 4 p.m.

Teeple didn’t estimate the value of the damage but said the roof structure was destroyed and the entire interior of the house had heavy water damage.

A GoFundMe campaign “House fire for Paisley family” had raised $7,430 from 72 donors towards its $10,000 goal by mid-afternoon Friday. Its brief description of what happened adds a dog got out of the home safely too.

The last house fire in Paisley was in December 2019, a two-house fire in which passing Bruce County employees noticed the fire and banged on the doors to alert the residents.

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