It took the help of an artist’s art to save a man from a life-threatening blaze on a rural property in southwestern Ontario.
The owner of a farmhouse in St. John’s, Ont., said a metal beam went through the front door of his home in May and trapped him inside.
The flames consumed the house and his dog, and he lost control of his own dog.
He said he saw flames shooting from the roof, which has no fire escapes.
He said the fire was so intense he had to flee.
After he was rescued, he got back into his truck, and when it was time to get out, the beam went flying through the window.
The artist was able to get the metal beam out and then cut the beam into smaller pieces, and then painted a wooden sign on the wall saying “Thank you.”
That’s how Mark Stinson, a painter, got the metal wall on the side of the farmhouse to serve as a temporary barrier to prevent the fire from spreading to other homes.
“It was like a little wall, and it was really, really strong,” he said.
He painted the metal sign on a wooden fence and left it in place, until the flames went out.
“I was pretty much stuck in a room with this big wall, with this huge beam and it kind of took me a while to get it out,” he recalled.
He then took the sign and painted a new metal wall with a new message on it.
“The message is very simple, but I want to show that it is still a beautiful place,” he added.
“That’s my message to the people in the area.
We’re all living in a really beautiful place.
There are so many beautiful things happening, but it’s still a pretty tough place.”
Stinson said he has had a lot of help from neighbours, who helped him get the message across.
“The whole community is amazing,” he remarked.
“They’ve been really kind.
I’ve been very fortunate.”
The fire broke out at about 9:30 a.m. on the property.
The fire department said there were no injuries, but firefighters were treating the fire as a severe fire.