Wind and cold add to challenge of stubborn blaze

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Thunder Bay firefighters focus on the eaves, roof and attic of a Riverside Drive while battling a fire there Thursday afternoon. (Sandi Krasowski)
Thunder Bay firefighters focus on the eaves, roof and attic of a Riverside Drive while battling a fire there Thursday afternoon. (Sandi Krasowski)

The Ontario Fire Marshal’s Office will be called in to help in the investigation of a fire that destroyed a Riverside Drive home on Thursday.
Thunder Bay firefighters spent much of Thursday afternoon battling the blaze, which is believed to have started in the garage, and quickly spread to the attic space.
In an interview at the scene, fire Chief John Hay said 21 firefighters were involved in the initial attempts to extinguish the fire.
By late evening, 26 personnel had been at the scene, along with six pumpers, a platform truck and command unit.
Thunder Bay Police were also on hand, blocking Riverside Drive to traffic.
There were no injuries.
A female resident who was in the home when the fire broke out was safely evacuated, Hay said.
The fire was a “very stubborn” one, he said, and getting access to the area under the roof where the fire was working proved challenging for firefighters.
“It’s going to be moving quite rapidly in the open spaces between the trusses,” Hay said, adding that the high winds Thursday afternoon were a concern, as they were helping the fire spread quickly after the roof was opened up.
“We’re going to have a really difficult time stopping it up there,” he said.
It was “way too early” to determine a cause, Hay said.
Thunder Bay fire investigators will be dispatched to the site as soon as possible.