Ottawa woman, Nancy Price, dies trying to save her beloved dog in a fire
Published Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:48PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, August 14, 2014 6:28PM EDT
A 56-year-old Ottawa woman died yesterday evening trying to save her dog in a burning building. Neighbors say the victim, Nancy Price, escaped the fire only to run back inside to rescue her pet Dalmatian. Fire broke out at a townhouse on Penny Drive in the city's Britannia neighborhood about 7:30 last night. Everyone who knew Price says she loved her dogs. With one of them too ill to make it down the stairs and out of the burning house, she went back inside to try to get him out. Neither of them made it. The flames were ferocious, ripping through the two-storey townhome on Penny Drive within minutes. Just as ferocious was Nancy Price's love for her dogs. When the fire started Wednesday evening Alexandra Moreau was a couple of doors down. She saw the smoke, got her kids out, then went banging on Nancy's door.
“I went to look through the window and the living room was already engulfed in flames,” recalls Moreau, whose family was also displaced by the fire, “I banged on the door, we tried to pull her out, she pushed her way back in. She said she had to get her dog and she didn't come back out.”
Nancy Price's son Scott was too emotional to speak on camera but he told CTV Ottawa that his mother's dog was disabled and stayed in the bedroom with her. He says firefighters told him that's where both of them were found last night.
Price had managed to get her German Shepherd Buddy out the door but both she and Damien, the Dalmatian, died.
Barbara Lepage knew Price well, had lived in the area until two years ago, “She was always outside with her dogs and every time I was down here I seen her, just walking into the area this morning, nobody will ever see her face again or see her smile again. It's hard.”
"In 15 minutes the whole house was engulfed in fire,” says neighbor Cindy Stephen, who came rushing back home when she heard about the fire on Penny Drive, “so was the unit beside it. Doesn't say a lot about these units.”
This is the fourth fatal fire for Penny Drive in a decade.
In 2009, a 45-year-old man was killed. Five years before that, children Chelsea and Cole Rodgers died when their townhome was fire-bombed. Several people went to prison for their murders.
Wednesday’s fire on Penny Drive caused half a million dollars damage. The Fire Marshall's Office is investigating the cause. Ottawa Community Housing says the unit was equipped with two battery smoke detectors and a hard-wired one.
Residents plan a vigil tonight for Nancy Price, and they're raising money to help those affected in the other units. Nancy's son says he plans to cremate Damien, the Dalmatian and bury him beside his mother.