Flames ripped through a home in a west Maple Ridge overnight, leaving six people and two pets homeless.
Firefighters were called to a two-storey house in the 20900-block of Wicklund Avenue, in the Westview neighbourhood, just after 1 a.m. Friday morning, April 17.
They found a home with “substantial fire in it,” said fire chief Howard Exner.
Everyone was out of the home, including the two pets – one which was missing and one which had been rescued by the occupants.
Six minutes from the time of the call, the first team rolled up on the house to find it already “heavily charged” with flames and smoke, Exner explained, noting his team went on a defensive attack in efforts to get control of the blaze. He’s not sure if the home was fully destroyed at this time, but he described significant damage caused by flames, water, and smoke.
“Initially, it was a very large fire,” he added, noting extra efforts were quickly made to ensure the blaze didn’t spread to neighbouring homes.
Teams were on scene fighting the fire for the better part of four hours, and crews are expected to remain on scene this morning mopping up and investigating for a cause of the fire.
In the meantime, a Maple Ridge youth was in the vicinity that night meeting with friends at the nearby high school.
“All me and my friends heard were an explosion, coming from that house I assume. Some form of gunshot or loud popping noise,” he described.
“We looked around to see what had happened, and that house exploded into flames,” he said, noting how they also heard “lots of screaming coming from a woman’s voice.”
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