London home blaze originated near fire pit: Investigators

A fire in southwest London has heavily damaged a home and claimed the lives of three family pets.

The blaze at 63 Guildford Crescent began around 2:30 a.m. where firefighters encountered heavy smoke and flames coming from the rear of the property.

Nearby resident Carol Dobbie witnessed the intensity of the smoke as firefighters entered the residence and told CTV News, “The front door of the home, yes, and the smoke started to billow out.”

For a brief time, emergency crews were also searching for one of the two occupants. London Fire Dept. Platoon Chief Colin Shewell told CTV News a resident — who got out safely — initially went back inside.

“A person did go back in to try to retrieve the pet,” Shewell said.

Both occupants of the home escaped injury, although one was briefly treated at the scene.

However, two cats and a pet bird perished in the blaze. Two dogs also managed to escape.

In daylight, damage to the rear of the home is substantial, including the back deck. Fire investigators have since narrowed their search for a cause to the area.

“It was somewhere located around the fire pit, near or on the deck, near a gazebo,” Shewell stated.

18 firefighters and six engines were at the scene.

Damage is estimated at over $250,000.

As the investigation continues, Shewell reminds Londoners not to have a fire on wooden decks or near other combustible materials.

He also reminds everyone to never re-enter a burning home, even to rescue a furry friend. Shewell said when it’s safe to do so, firefighters have the best chance, and equipment, to help rescue pets.

“We will do everything we can in our training to make sure we do everything we can for members of the family, such as pets,” he said.

The fire is not believed to be suspicious. 

Earlier this week, London firefighters saved a dog from a burning home on Tennyson Street.