Roofers consider they witnessed start off of Tantallon wildfire: ‘It just seemed like a bonfire’

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Roofers doing the job at a household on Tattingstone Courtroom on Sunday think they witnessed the begin of the Tantallon wildfire that broken hundreds of properties and compelled countless numbers of people to evacuate from the spot.

Ben Clattenburg was up on a roof when he noticed a tiny fire powering a household on close by Juneberry Lane.

“It just seemed like a bonfire – like any individual burning a thing,” Clattenburg claimed Tuesday.

“We were being imagining it was a rather incredibly hot and dry working day to be burning some thing in your yard.”

It was much too scorching to be owning a campfire at the time, Clattenburg stated. “It was 30 C out. It was three o’clock in the afternoon. Why would any person be sitting close to a fireplace?”

Roofers feel they witnessed the start out of the Tantallon wildfire. – Picture submitted

Then, all of a unexpected, the fireplace was in two spots, mentioned the 27-yr-previous.

“We had a very good vantage place. We have been at the higher conclusion – we were able to see very obviously and scent that anything was likely on,” Clattenburg reported, noting there was no other smoke on the horizon at that time.

Crying and on the phone

He climbed down a ladder and ran into a nearby yard in which a girl was standing on the back deck of a property, crying and talking on the mobile phone.

“The guy up coming doorway said that she is normally burning rubbish in her backyard,” Clattenburg said, noting he did not witness her burning nearly anything.

“I’m not from there. I really do not dwell following to her. But when individuals that dwell all over her are telling you that, which is a pretty major statement. Without the need of a question, it undoubtedly started off in her backyard.”

Images from Ben Clattenburg's submitted wildfire video.
Illustrations or photos from Ben Clattenburg’s submitted wildfire online video.

By the time he reached her yard from his rooftop vantage place in about a few minutes, “the complete woods was on fireplace,” explained the Clayton Park resident, who operates for Lafitte’s Roofing.

A single of his co-workers termed 911 at about 3:25 p.m.

‘Barreling toward us’

“We were being just ending up our career web-site, cleansing up, and this smoke began barreling to us,” said Eric Lafitte, who was functioning on the exact roof as Clattenburg on Sunday.

“Within a matter of minutes, every little thing was just lit up in flames.”

At 1st, the backyard fire they’d noticed before was tiny and seemed like some thing you’d roast marshmallows about, Lafitte said.

An image from Ben Clattenburg's submitted wildfire video.
An image from Ben Clattenburg’s submitted wildfire video clip.

“It was just smouldering, and then it spread out,” claimed the Eastern Passage resident. “I viewed the flames go from the base of the tree to the top in the blink of an eye and then it just spread out everywhere.”

The wind picked up speedily, Lafitte reported. “And the wind was just feeding that fire.”

‘Families just booking it’

The roofers knocked on doorways to warn individuals.

“There were families just reserving it,” Lafitte stated. “What a sin. There ended up young ones freaking out. They have been running out with their animals. Some of them have been just half-dressed and their properties were being just engulfed in flames.”

Firefighters explained to the 5-guy roofing crew they had to get their motor vehicles off the avenue about 25 minutes after they initially noticed the hearth.

“It was time to go, for absolutely sure,” Clattenburg mentioned. “Fire was leaping (from just one property to the next). You weren’t 100 per cent absolutely sure how lengthy you were going to be able to continue to be there in advance of you obtained trapped.”

The province banned open fires the working day immediately after the Tantallon wildfire started off.

Fire under investigation

The fire is currently beneath investigation, Deputy Chief David Meldrum stated Tuesday in an e-mail.

“I cannot deliver any information and facts to ensure or deny what was reported to you,” Meldrum mentioned of the roofers’ eyewitness accounts.

“This hearth will be investigated by a fire investigator appointed by the Nova Scotia Division of (Normal) Methods and Renewables. Halifax Regional Hearth and Emergency investigators are co-functioning with that assigned person.”

A spokeswoman for the lead company did not reply queries posed by The Chronicle Herald about how and when the fireplace started.

“The origin of the wildfire is being investigated, and we’ll have extra details at a later on date,” Patricia Jreige, who speaks for Normal Methods and Renewables, stated in an e-mail.

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