Barry’s Bay — An errantly tossed cigarette is believed to be the cause of the destructive fire Tuesday afternoon in Madawaska Valley (MV) Township that destroyed multiple structures, farm equipment, and property at the old Daly Stopping Place property on Opeongo Road between Barry’s Bay and Wilno.  

The MV Fire Department was dispatched for a shed fire that was spreading to nearby grass at 2:39 pm, according to MV Fire Chief Corwin Quade.

Personnel responded from both the Combermere and Barry’s Bay stations, arriving on scene in 16 minutes with two tankers, two pumpers, two rescue units, and 16 firefighters

“Six buildings were engulfed upon arrival, along with five acres of field and bush,” Chief Quade noted.

Because of the magnitude of the fire, Chief Quade requested a tanker, pumper and personnel through Mutual Aid from neighbouring Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards (KHR) Township

In addition, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) wildfire office was on standby should their assistance be required, the chief said.

At the height of the operation there were 10 fire vehicles on scene and 26 firefighters battling the blaze. Three tankers shuttled water from a creek four kilometres away and at one point there was over 2,000 feet of fire hose deployed around the fire.

“The fire destroyed six structures, seven acres of field and bush, a tractor, and numerous vehicles and farm equipment were destroyed,” Chief Quade stated. “Nothing was insured.

“The buildings destroyed were some of the oldest in the municipality. The total loss was in the $800,000 range,” he added.

He said the fire started on the edge of the municipal road and spread in the field, then to the structures.

“It was a discarded cigarette thrown in the grass that was the cause of the fire,” he said.

 The fire was noticed by a person cutting wood at a neighbouring property who could smell smoke and rubber burning and they went to check out to investigate. At the same time, another individual driving to work came on the fire, and both reported the field and shed on fire.

The KHR department and the MV Combermere Hall were released after 1.5 hours but Combermere was then sent to Brudenell, Lyndoch and Raglan Township to assist with shuttling water for a large blaze BLR was battling.

 The remaining MV personnel stayed on scene until 6:30 p.m. with two pumpers, a tanker and 16 firefighters. The firefighters saved a residence, two barns and another shed.

Chief Quade said none of the personnel sustained injuries in the course of their duties.

“Both fire departments worked very well together; they did an amazing job,” he said. “I would like to thank the Killaloe, Hagarty and Richards Fire Department firefighters for their hard work.”

He also thanked Renfrew County Dispatch for doing an excellent job coordinating the mutual aid call, and passing along information as they received it.

“MVFD firefighters worked hard as they always do and I would like to thank them as well,” he concluded.