Barho fire speculation “does no one any good”

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HRM Fire, Councillor Adams respond to online speculation

HALIFAX: Speculation surrounding the cause of the fire that killed the seven children of the Barho family does no one any good, least of which is the family, said HRM Fire on Sept. 4.

HRM Fire Deputy Chief Dave Meldrum was responding to a question from The Weekly Press regarding the online speculation that followed in the days after the tragic fire on February 19 on Quartz Drive in Spryfield, and continued even in the day before the press conference.

He said fire investigators were aware of the speculation that was being posted online about the fire.

“We’ve been aware of many online theories and areas of speculation,” said Meldrum.

Meldrum said that speculation is harmful—for everyone, from the family to those firefighters who fought the fire.

“Speculation can create false assumptions about what may or may not have happened, that can be so terribly damaging to the people involved in the fire, so terribly damaging to members of the community,” said Meldrum. “It can cause fear and unrest in the community who may have fears of a fire risk in their home when there’s no basis or fact for that.

“It’s also damaging to our firefighters as well.”

He said they understand everyone wanting answers, especially after a tragic fire such as this, but they work on facts to come to their conclusions.

“We absolutely appreciate the question and need for everyone to understand we only work from the basis of hard evidence,” said Meldrum.

Councillor Stephen Adams, who represents the Governor’s Brook Spryfield area where the fire took place, didn’t mince words when asked for a response to those posting speculation online of the fire. He reiterated the homes are built to code and a lot of the rumours mentioned before, like the talk of an explosion, are not factual.

“Stop, stop talking, stop speculating,” said Adams. “You’re not doing anyone any good. You’re not doing the family any good.

“It’s simply fear-mongering. Those people should be ashamed of themselves.”

MAIN PHOTO: Dave Meldrum, HRM Deputy Fire Chief, said speculation online of the Barho family fire—or any fire for that matter—does no one any good, especially the family in this instance with the devastating loss of their seven children. There have been posts online of theories on what took place; that there was a bomb being made; that the length of the investigation was done to cover it up; and more. (Healey photo)