Jeff Green | Apr 09, 2009
Back to HomeFeature Article - April 9, 2009 Fatal fire in GodfreyBy Jeff Green
OPP officials had not yet officially released the name of the deceased as of Tuesday afternoon, but family members have confirmed that Joan Young, 71, of Hinchinbrooke Road, just off the Westport Road near Godfrey, is presumed to have perished in a house fire on Saturday morning.
Young was alone in the house at the time. Her husband died earlier this year.
A neighbour who saw smoke coming from the property, which is located at the end of a long laneway, called fire crews about 8 am Saturday morning.
Crews had a difficult time reaching the property because of conditions on the road, but a newly purchased 4-wheel drive truck was able to get to the property with three firefighters, and what they saw made them realise there was likely a fatality in the house.
The back of the house was already “well engulfed” in flames. According to Central Frontenac Fire Chief Mark MacDonald, and the flames were spreading to the front of the house. There was no opportunity for firefighters to enter the house. The crews knew that Joan Young was probably in the house. Young, who has family on at least two of the Central Frontenac crews, including the Hinchinbrooke crew, did not drive and was expected to have been home at the time.
Crews began to get water onto the building and managed to keep it from total collapse, but there was not much left when the fire was put out.
A search was undertaken and a body was found and transferred to Kingston for identification and to determine the cause of death.
The Fire Marshall’s office, aided by local crews, are working to determine the cause of the fire.
“Once we know the cause of death, it will help us determine the cause of the fire,” said Fire Chief Mark MacDonald.
He added that there probably will be a focus on the appliances because the fire took place at breakfast time.
Three of the four Central Frontenac crews, Hinchinbrooke, Olden and Kennebec responded to the fire and the Oso crew was on standby, according to Chief MacDonald.
“She was given smoke alarms as present a few weeks ago,” said Mark MacDonald of Joan Young, “so we can assume she had working fire alarms in the house, but it is estimated there is only 60 – 90 seconds from when an alarm goes for someone to vacate the premises before smoke inhalation can occur”.