UPDATED - Red Cross helping elderly Brighton couple after fire

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Nigel Armstrong
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Couple at 3 Waverly Court safe but home heavily damaged

Disaster volunteers with the Canadian Red Cross have come to the aid of an elderly Charlottetown couple whose home was heavily damaged in a fire Friday night.

While the couple was safe from the blaze, which started when ashes disposed out their front door slowly kindled and eventually set their basement on fire, the home faced extensive damage.

Volunteers have arranged for emergency lodging, food, clothing purchases and other aid for the two while they await an assessment from insurers.

The fire at 3 Waverly Court, off York Lane just behind the military complex known as Brighton Compound, was reported to 911 about 7:30 p.m. Friday.

“We got the call of a house filling with smoke but when we got on scene we noticed right away that we had a full, working fire,” said Deputy Fire Chief Tim Mamye with Charlottetown Fire Department.

“As it turned out there was some hot ashes placed against the siding just by the front door and it had burnt its way through the siding and into the basement,” said Mamye. “It got into the rafters and into the wood paneling down there and that’s where the fire started.”

He said the ashes appear to have come from a fireplace and appear to have been in some sort of container that was not fireproof.

The couple, Robert and Shirley Donnelly, were safe and unhurt outside their yellow bungalow when firefighters arrived, said Mayme.

The home suffered extensive smoke, water and structural damage, he said.

Mayme said the fire serves as a reminder to everyone to discard ashes in a metal bin with a lid, far away from any combustibles.

NArmstrong@TheGuardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/NigelPEI

 

Organizations: Charlottetown Fire Department

Geographic location: Brighton, Charlottetown

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