Firefighters are investigating overnight blaze in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS/files)

Family of five escapes Maple Ridge fire

Three taken to hospital.

  • Sep. 5, 2018 7:00 a.m.

A family of five and several pets escaped a house fire early Wednesday in Maple Ridge.

The fire started on Greenwell Street and Purdey Avenue, sometime before 3:30 a.m.

One of the daughters woke the rest of the family. All escaped, although three were taken to hospital. The father may have suffered some burns to his head.

Several pets were recovered, but six birds died and two cats remain missing.

Maple Ridge assistant fire chief Michael Van Dop said that the house was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived.

Three people were taken to hospital with injuries, but have since been released.

“One of the adults had first- and second-degree burns on their head, but treated and released,” Van Dop said.

“Everybody was out of the house on our arrival. The home is heavily fire-damaged.”

Crews remain on scene this morning to do an investigation to try to determine the cause.

Van Dop confirmed that pet birds in the house on the upper storey didn’t survive, but firefighters did rescue three guinea pigs from the basement.

Tony Tonnellier, who lives in the basement, said the smoke alarms sounded waking his sister, who alerted the rest of the family. “I was the last one out. Within 15 minutes, the whole upstairs was burning,” said Tonnellier. “I’ve never been in a fire like that. I didn’t know a house could burn that quickly.”

His girlfriend Kristin Connor escaped as soon as she could. “I grabbed my slippers, glasses, phone and phone charger and got out.” She later recovered some of other possessions, such as her identification, jewelry and clothes. The family has been in the house for about five years and have house insurance.

The fire department, with Fire Hall No. 1 visible from the house, just north of Dewdney Trunk Road, was there in minutes.

One cat, named Spooky was rescued and was resting in a cat carrier in one of the family’s vehicles. But the other two cats, Sophie and Honey were missing. Connor though noted that firefighters haven’t found them inside, and that the doors were open when the house was on fire.

“We’re hopeful, always hopeful. Cats are pretty resilient little animals in terms of taking care of themselves and getting out. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re gone at this point, just unaccounted for,” Van Dop said.

Most of the residents reported the smoke alarms sounding, Van Dop added. “So that’s good. Working smoke alarms save lives.”

Six trucks responded and 25 firefighters tackled the blaze.

 

Just Posted

Vibrant alco-inks one of many mediums for sale at club’s annual show

Garibaldi Art Club’s fall show and sale to feature 220 works of art

UPDATE: Arrest made in Maple Ridge purse-snatching incidents, another for fraud

Man and woman, both 34 and from Maple Ridge, facing charges.

Maple Ridge women’s shelter society gets a $2.1-million boost

Cythera Transition House Society gets money for 21 homes

Maple Ridge councillors named to local groups

Division of labour for new council

Clear skies for Fraser Blues Remembrance Day flyby

It was the first time the formation team flew over the Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows Remembrance Day ceremonies

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read