The house fire reported in Port Carling Thursday night is actually an employee residence for workers of the popular Turtle Jacks restaurant. Manager Ben Devlin says there is not really a plan for an occurrence such as this but everyone is focused on getting employees rehoused both short and long-term.
Crews responded around 9:30 PM to find the side and roof fully involved. Up to 23 people call the residence home and according to Township of Muskoka Lakes Fire Prevention Officer Douglas Holland, the fact the house had interconnected smoke alarms and sprinklers meant everyone got out safely.
Crews also went in and gathered up personal belongings for those people whose rooms were reachable following the fire.
The blaze was the result of a tipped over Barbeque that then ignited the siding and worked its way to the roof. Holland told Moose FM his department registers this fire as a save of the dwelling, but insurance companies may have a different view of the property, that has a damage assessment of $250,000.
Holland says this limit to the damage came as a result of a ready water supply.
A Go Fund Me account has been set up for the employees, while Turtle Jacks is working with local businesses to find housing for those affected.