An investigation is underway into a blaze that brought down a vacant home in East Preston on Tuesday.
The windows of the house on Upper Partridge River Road had been boarded up, the power had been turned off and, by 4 p.m., there was no indication that anyone had been living inside, said Halifax Regional Fire and Emegency Platoon Chief Paul Hopkins.
A cause for the blaze has yet to be determined, but Hopkins described the situation as “suspicious.”
He said investigators would have to consider arson a possibility, as no other source of ignition could be immediately identified.
Neighbors started calling the fire department around 2:30 p.m. after they saw smoke coming from the roof of the house. Soon after, Hopkins said the flames reached 20 feet into the air before the roof collapsed.
Vehicles and about 20 personnel from neighboring departments were called to the scene to help battle the blaze.
Hopkins said firefighters approached the situation as if someone were inside as a precaution, but quickly realized that the building had long since been empty. Hopkins also said the department opted for a slower, but safer “defensive” approach and doused the flames from the outside.
“With vacant homes, the challenge is the unknown,” he said. “You never know, there could be any number of hazards in there.”
No injuries were reported, and the fire did not spread to any nearby homes.
BOX: Fire trucks, ambulances and police cars lined the stretch of Upper Partridge River Road, and police were rerouting drivers and keeping curious onlookers away as firefighters dealt with the flames.