Halifax regional firefighters were busy battling two early morning blazes yesterday.

Around 6:30 a.m., Halifax RCMP notified firefighters of a house fire at 31 Isaiah Lane in North Preston.

Police say two officers saw flames and smoke coming from the house.

The officers entered the home and awoke the four occupants, who were asleep. All four escaped without injury.

Police say George Fraser, 75, his daughter Yolanda Fraser, 36, and her two boys, aged 15 and 8, were inside the home. They had no fire insurance and are now homeless.

According to Capt. Grant Withers of fire station No. 18, the fire appeared to be caused by a wood stove heating up a poorly insulated wall over a long period of time.

“The initial reports are of an improper installation of a wood burning appliance,” added Halifax regional fire platoon chief Mike Blackburn. He said the fire took about an hour to extinguish.

A woman who identified herself as a resident of the house refused to speak with Metro yesterday from the scene.

Firefighters were also called to a rooming house at 6321 Pepperell Street in Halifax at about 7:30 a.m. yesterday. A single room in the basement of the 15-tenant building was on fire.

Tenant Wesley Erskine, 31, said he awoke around 6:30 a.m. to discover the basement hallway flooded with smoke. Erskine’s room was one door down from the blaze.

“The whole downstairs was a patch of white smoke,” he said.

According to Erskine, there were no working fire alarms in the basement, and the fire extinguishers were expired.

Another tenant, Edward Levy, said he and the building’s superintendent attempted to fight the fire from an outside window, but had little luck until the fire department arrived.

Blackburn said the investigation into the fire’s cause was complete, but a full report hadn’t been made public as of yesterday.

We are following up with our fire investigators and our fire prevention office, to do a followup on that building,” he said.

Police are saying a fire that damaged portions of a building in Dartmouth over the weekend is suspicious. Firefighters responded to the blaze early Saturday. They found damage to a door and some contents of a storage area at an apartment on Lakecrest Drive. Police say the reason for the fire has yet to be determined, but forensic experts are looking into suspicious causes.

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