Child found safe, but nine puppies perish in fire

A young child was finally found safe at a neighbour’s house after Bayham firefighters conducted a search of a garage and workshop on fire at 55304 Light Line on Friday, Dec. 3, at about 7:45 a.m.

Fire Chief Harry Baranik said firefighters on arrival could see smoke rising from the roof at the rear of the building.

They also found a neighbour outside at the back, trying to control the fire with a garden house.

Then the owners told firefighters one of their children could not be found, and he might be inside, since he liked to visit their dog and her nine one-week-old puppies inside the garage.

Chief Baranik said firefighters quickly entered the building and searched it, but couldn’t find a child.

The mother dog was rescued, but the nine puppies did not survive, victims of smoke inhalation.

The child was later found safe at another neighbour’s house.

Chief Baranik said the fire was quickly brought under control, and damage was contained mainly to the rear wall. Damage to the structure was estimated at $20,000 to repair.

The cause of the fire was not considered suspicious, and was believed to be improper storage of hot ash from a wood stove, which ignited a box beside the ash container.

Chief Baranik reminded everyone that all ash, even if thought to be cold, should be stored in a metal container, preferably one with a lid.