Wellington family fortunate to escape house fire

Prince Edward County Fire and Rescue crews work to extinguish a fire at 156 Main St. in Wellington Sunday evening. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)




A trio of anglers at the Wellington dock were looking for a big one on Sunday evening.

What they ended up catching was far more valuable than a fish swimming around West Lake.

A bystander watches as fire crews battle a blaze at the rear of a home located at 156 Main St. in Wellington. (Jason Parks/GazetteStaff)

Adam Insley, his son Kayden and Seth Watson were casting for walleye when they “caught” the smell of smoke coming from the rear of a two- storey home at 156 Main St. Wellington around 8:30 p.m.

“I immediately called 911 and Seth and Kayden ran to the front door and the family was able to get out,” Mr. Insley told the Gazette.

(Editor’s note: A previous version of this story speculated about the cause of the fire. A Prince Edward County Fire & Rescue investigation has determined the cause of the blaze and the department are expected to release that information in the coming days.)

Kayden and Watson helped hurry the family from the structure which was quickly catching flame.

The tenants are well known to the community as Papa Ganoush and Mama Hummus, proprietors of a small family business that produces authentic Baba Ghanoush, Hummus, Tabule and garlic spread.  

Adnan Mustafa and Suhaila El Husein and their families escaped war-torn Syria in 2016 and started a business shortly after settling in Prince Edward County.

Thankfully, the family was able to escape the blaze. Kaden Insley and Seth Watson went to neighbouring homes and alerted occupants while Mr. Insley stayed in contact with a 911 operator.

“I really feel that if we had been 10 minutes later, it could have been a worse outcome,” Mr. Insley said. “We heard three propane tanks blow up and there were a couple of  vans that caught on fire at the rear of the building… it could have been really bad.”

Prince Edward County Fire Chief Chad Brown confirmed the rear of the structure was fully aflame upon arrival of fire crews and that the fire had spread to two vehicles parked near the building.  

“Our firefighters did an amazing job containing this fire to a single property,” said Fire Chief Chad Brown. “The building backs onto the Wellington fire station property so firefighters were able to get setup quickly and limit further property damage. Firefighters from three of our stations worked for several hours to extinguish this fire.”

The County’s new $1.2 million-dollar Pierce Ascendant aerial truck attended the scene from the Picton fire station, but operators were unable to navigate the menagerie of telephone poles and lines at the house and the vehicle was at rest during the fire fighting.

There were no injuries resulting from the fire and the loss is estimated at $500,000. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.  

“Please ensure you  have working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in your home to ensure you are alerted when fire occurs.  Fires can occur at any time so be prepared and test your alarms today,” Chief Brown stated.

A Fundly campaign has been launched to help the family.

It’s believed the fires started at the rear of the home some time around 8:25 p.m. (Jason Parks/Gazette Staff)