House owned by same family for more than a century destroyed
Decades' worth of possessions and family treasures were lost in a house fire Friday on Albert Street South in Orillia. The 100-year-old occupant escaped uninjured. (PATRICK BALES/THE PACKET & TIMES)
A 100-year-old woman has been forced from the home she lived in for most of her adult life, following an overnight fire Friday.
Orillia Fire was called into action around midnight for the blaze at 26 Albert St. S. Neighbours had already woken the woman and rescued her from the burning house before firefighters brought the blaze under control.
“From what I understand, there were about two or three people who saw the fire going ... A bunch of people went in, basically kicked down the door, and put her on the porch,” said Shannon Clark, the grandson of the woman who lived at the house. “Good neighbours.”
No injuries were reported.
Clark's grandmother had been splitting her time between her home in Orillia and his home in Uxbridge, where she'll be staying in the aftermath of the fire. She and her husband of 72 years lived in the Albert Street house until his death three years ago. Since then, when she's been in Orillia, she's been on her own.
When police arrived at Clark's door at 2 a.m., he feared the worst for his beloved nana. Still, a home that had been owned by just one family had been destroyed.
“It's gone,” Clark said. “That's multi-generations of house and stuff in there. I don't know if that's sunk in with my grandmother yet, that sort of loss.”
Clark didn't grow up in the house but spent many summers there over the past four-plus decades. The 45-year-old has memories of the house dating back to when he was six years old.
The house had been in the family for more than a century; the aunt and uncle of Clark's grandfather were the original owners.
“A lot of memories were here; that's for sure,” Clark said.
The cause of the fire has not been determined. The Orillia OPP Crime Unit, Central Region Forensic Identification Services and the Office of the Fire Marshal were called in to investigate.
Police ask anyone who witnessed the fire or has other information about the incident to contact Orillia OPP at 705-326-3536 or 888-310-1122.