One family with St. Thomas University connections is without their dog after a house fire.
On Sept. 1 at around 11 a.m., the Fredericton Fire Department responded to a house fire at 26 Beaconsfield Street.
The house belongs to STU English professor Andrew Titus, as his son and STU student Sam Titus confirmed.
Neighbours said the family wasn’t home when the fire started. Nobody was injured, but the family dog, Poet, was killed.
Sam Titus suspects the fire might have started in the laundry room.
“We had an old washer and dryer, so I’m assuming that [might have caused the fire],” Titus said.
At 1:15 p.m., on scene fire team captain Ken Dickeson couldn’t confirm the cause of the fire.
“Everything is under control now,” Dickeson said. “We just clean up and fire prevention is here doing the investigation.”
He said when the team arrived the fire had broken from the basement through the windows and started on the back wall.
“There’s a lot of damage to the basement,” Dickeson said.
Sam Titus said the worst is the shock. He was washing dishes at the Lunar Rogue Pub when his mother came in and told him his house was on fire.
“It hurts more than I expected it to,” he said. “I mean no one ever thinks their house is going to burn down.”
The loss of the family’s pet, Poet, is very hard. Sam said they got the “big fluffy black” dog from the SPCA. Poet was six years old.
His brother’s turtle and his sister’s fish were rescued and are now staying at a friend’s house.
Sam was unsure if his father’s involvement at the on-going Welcome Week for first year students at STU would be affected.
“My dad has Operation Ignition, he does it every year,” Sam said. “I sincerely doubt that will happen.”
Operation Ignition is an event where incoming STU students gather to hear some advice and inspirational words from Titus. It is scheduled to happen Sept. 1 at 6 p.m.
Next door neighbour Adam Doolittle said the power went out in his house and at a couple other houses behind too. When he rushed outside, the flames were coming out of the basement window.
Other neighbours had already called the fire department. Doolittle said the fire fighters made it quickly to the scene. By then, the flames were getting pretty high out back on the house.
He said it was disheartening.
“When it’s right next door, you think yourself, it could be yours as well, right?” Asked Doolittle.
“Especially when you’re not at home. You don’t know what happens and something like that can happen any time. Kind of just goes as a reminder to just make sure everything is alright before you leave home, to double check, no candles or anything like that. Cause you never know how these things start.”