A man trying to put out a fire at his home may now regret that decision.

The Gravenhurst Fire Department got a call from the homeowner at 1048 Bagley Road in South Gravenhurst around 2:15pm yesterday. The delayed call to get the department’s help has resulted in a total loss to the man’s home.

Firefighters from Stations 1 and 2 arrived to find an advanced fire with flames shooting through the roof of the home. The fire was also spreading to a neighbouring home.

Crews split resources, trying to knock down the main fire but also slow the spread through the tinder-dry grass towards the neighbour’s home.

The man had been cleaning up his yard and ignored the seasonal daytime burning ban that came into effect on April 1st. Sparks from the debris fire he had started to get rid of brush and grass lit up nearby dry grass.  The man tried to fight the blaze himself for around 20 minutes say fire officials.

When he realized it was a bigger job than he could handle, he called 911.

“Aside from the issue that outside burning is prohibited during the daytime in Gravenhurst, this is a dramatic example of what can happen, especially in the spring with home clean-up activities,” said Fire Chief Larry Brassard. “A small unnoticed spark can easily ignite pine needles or dried leaves around a home or cottage, or that may have sat over the winter in eaves trough.”

The Chief urges people to not burn debris but rather take it to the dump.

He also notes the valuable time lost in delaying a call to emergency services.

“Especially in the more remote areas of our community where first responders have a long way to travel, every minute is important if we’re to have a chance of making a meaningful intervention,” said Brassard  “Their actions were crucial to preventing a much more serious situation from occurring.”

There were no injuries and damage is listed around $400,000.