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Fire heavily damages Amherst home

For the second night in a row, the Amherst Fire Department battled an early morning blaze that heavily damaged an Amherst area home.

Firefighters were called to the two-storey house on Copp Avenue just after 2 a.m. on Sunday, April 19. The call came in about 23 hours after they had fought a fire on Standish Street, which is located on the outskirts of the town in the Municipality of Cumberland.

When they arrived on the scene Sunday morning, they found smoke billowing many metres into the sky from the eaves and roof of the structure. Fire had also damaged a back corner of the building above a door into the home’s basement.

The department deployed four, two-man teams to fight the fire from the interior. Hose-carrying teams entered the building from the front door, backCopp 18 B door and a door into the basement. Each team had barely stepped inside the building, when they disappeared from sight because of the heavy smoke.

The occasional glimpse of a beam of light from a flashlight that penetrated the dense smoke and could be seen through windows gave the only hint of where the firefighters were located inside the building.

Outside, firefighters continually poured water onto a charred section at the back of the home, where fire kept poking out of the walls and roof. Behind them, stood backup teams who were prepared to go into action if an emergency occurred.

At one point, a firefighter climbed up on the roof to cut a vent hole. As the firefighter cut into the roof, sparks could be seen coming from his chainsaw.

Fire Chief Greg Jones said 35 Amherst firefighters fought the blaze for just over four hours, leaving the scene at 6:15 a.m. The department was assisted by seven members of the Truemanville Volunteer Fire Department.

“The home was unoccupied at the time of the fire,” Jones said. “None of the firefighters were injured battling the fire.”

The fire got into the walls and the damage to the home extends from the basement right up to the attic, he said.

The Amherst Fire Department is investigating the cause of the fire, but Jones said the preliminary investigation indicates there is no connection between the Sunday and Saturday morning fires.