No one was hurt in a house fire in Stratford that left a family of four without a home only a few weeks before Christmas.
About 15 firefighters from the Crossroads Community Fire Department responded to the call shortly before noon at the home near Mt. Herbert Road along the Trans-Canada Highway.
No one was home at the time and while firefighters initially thought a family pet was in the house, they later learned the house was empty.
Smoke billowed from the house’s broken windows for more than an hour and blanketed the backyard as firefighters battled the blaze.
Windows were smashed and holes cut into the walls to reach the fire as it smoldered and flared up inside the house.
The charred ruins of the interior were visible through the windows and the flames left the outer walls blackened around several exit points.
Firefighters also used a thermal camera to check their progress and make sure there weren’t any hot spots that could flare up.
The fire also slowed traffic along a small section of the highway where fire trucks lined one side of the road.
Deputy fire marshal Robert Arsenault was at the scene, but said he wouldn’t have his investigation finished before the end of the day.