Fire destroys Couchiching home

A Couchiching family barely had time to flee their home in the early-morning hours of Monday after being awakened by the sound of smoke detectors and the crackle of flames burning through the walls.
The Couchiching volunteer fire department rushed to the house, located on the south side of Highway 11 just before the Noden Causeway, after a call came in at 4 a.m.
“It was engulfed in flames when we got here,” Fire Chief Curtis Jourdain said Monday. “Luckily, everybody had gotten out of the house before we got there.”
Jourdain said the fire started after smoldering embers in a barbecue that has been used Sunday evening eventually were fanned by the strong wind and spread to the southeast wall of the house.
“The wind definitely played a major factor in this fire,” he noted.
Some 11 firefighters battled the blaze for more than five hours before it finally was out around 9:30 a.m. Jourdain and some of his crew then kept a close eye on the smoldering remains into the afternoon.
Although owner Darcy Foster, his wife, and two children were not injured in the blaze, the property damage was severe. Besides losing the house and all its contents, a pickup truck and boat and trailer also were destroyed.
“Everything’s insured. They got out unharmed and everything’s insured,” remarked Jourdain. “They’re very fortunate for that.”