Explosive fire forces Welland family out of their Habitat for Humanity house


A family with three children who were living in a Habitat for Humanity home in Welland are now looking for another place to live after a neighbouring garage caught fire. They just received the keys to their house two months ago.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Saturday a garage burst into flames. Several propane tanks ruptured and live power lines fell, building the intensity of the blaze for the 33 responding firefighters.

“The owner of the property at the time was processing bio diesel and a spark from one of the pumps he was using to filter the bio diesel had ignited the blaze,” said Deputy fire Chief Adam Eckhart.

The owner escaped with only minor burns and as soon as the family living next door to the garage saw the flames they made it out of their home and luckily no one was seriously injured.

Juan Luz moved from Colombia, to Quebec and then into their new home in Welland with their three young children back in July. The fire spread from the garage through the wooden fence and onto the over hang of the family home where it tore through the attic, siding and shattered the windows.

“The children are starting their first day of school tomorrow so unfortunately they lost clothes, school supplies, everything.”

They do have insurance because they are homeowners and that’s a part of the habitat program but immediate necessities they need like back to school supplies, clothes for the children, they have no coats or shoes.

Habitat for Humanity Niagara has set up a donation page.

In total the damage is quickly exceeding $600,000.


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