A couple narrowly escaped from a fire that tore through their home early Saturday in east Maple Ridge.
The husband and wife made it out of the house in the 12900-block of Alouette Road with minutes to spare after the smell of smoke and flames woke them up around 12:30 a.m.
They literally got out with the clothes on their back, said fire chief Dane Spence.
The fire completely destroyed the single-storey rancher, located near the women’s prison.
The house had cement roof tiles and once the fire got into the attic, it raced quickly through the entire structure. Spence said.
The weight of the tiles and damaged trusses caused the roof to collapse.
As a result, firefighters battled the blaze from outside and made sure embers did not spread to a thickly wooded area nearby.
“It wasn’t safe to go inside once the fire was in the roof,” said Spence, adding that the cause of the fire was accidental.
Crews remained on scene well into daylight, extinguishing hot spots.
At the height of the fire, the entire department was put on standby.
The fire department still has control of the scene and brought in an excavator Tuesday to sift through the charred rubble.
Spence said the couple lost their home and everything inside it.
Rob Jensen, a neighbour, rushed outside when he heard fire trucks and watched as flames engulfed the entire structure.
He was worried the large fire would spread to nearby trees and relieved when crews got it under control.
“The house was literally on fire from the garage right to the other side of the house,” said Jensen.
“If the forest caught fire, we would have had minutes to get out of there.”