An east Maple Ridge Family lost their home Thursday after a fire started in a shed 20 feet from their back door. The blaze took place on the 25700-block of Lougheed Highway starting around 2:30 p.m. causing extensive damage.
“This is an old-style house,” said Howard Exner, deputy chief of the Maple Ridge Fire Department while crews still battled the blaze. “It has sawdust for insulation in it, and we’ve been chasing the fire around the attic space for the better part of a couple hours.”
The home was built in 1926 and the current occupants have lived in their for the past 20 years, according to the Maple Ridge Fire Department.
The fire quickly spread as hot, dry conditions helped fuel the fire, said Exner. As the fire spread to the home, Maple Ridge fire crews were ordered to pull back at one point as live ammunition was heard going off as the house became fully involved.
“We had to do a tactical withdrawal because the people that lived here informed us they had guns and ammunition and the fire made it to one of their ammunition storages,“ he said.
The deputy chief said while they were forced to pull back, it wasn’t a surprise to his crew.
“It’s one of the things we actually plan for for more rural properties. For urban properties it might be a little different,” he said.
The fire also spread to hog fuel at Noble Custom Cut 25862 Lougheed Highway. Exner said Every available truck and member of the Maple Ridge Fire Department were on site, drawing water from the river to help fight the blaze.
“It’s been a pretty mobile scene, pretty dynamic. We’ve had a lot of ember fallout starting small fires in other areas for us The hog fuel pile that’s 100 feet to the east away. That’s a huge concern to us because of the fact they take forever to put out. and very difficult to fight a fire in that.”
Fire crews were called back out to the lumber yard Friday afternoon dealing with hot spots on the hog fuel pile.
He said he holds out no hope for being able to save the home.
“The house is significantly damaged. For it’s age, it’s pretty much destroyed.”
He said everyone living in the house was able to get out in time and their were no injuries. An investigation into the cause of the blaze is ongoing.