A GoFundMe page has been set up for a family who lost their house and belongings to a fire in Pitt Meadows.
The fundraiser was set up by Aj Singh to raise $10,000 to help out the family of seven who managed to escape the fire before help arrived.
On Sunday Pitt Meadows firefighters received multiple calls about the fire at around 8 a.m. in the 12200-block of McMyn Road.
Smoke could be seen from blocks away, said Pitt Meadows fire chief Mike Larsson, “powering into the air.”
Four trucks, 19 firefighters, and three chiefs arrived on scene to see flames coming off the back side of the house and through the roof, said Larsson.
“It was going well at that time,” he noted.
“The fire caused extensive damage to a home and left a large family without a place to stay,” Singh wrote on the GoFundMe page.
And, he said, the children are especially devastated, not only because they witnessed their belongings burning in front of their eyes, but that they lost “memorable pieces” their grandfather gave to them before he passed away in early 2014.
Now without a home are Sukhwant and Sukhvinder, along with their mother Kudan and their four children ranging in age from eight to 19-years.
The family purchased the home in 2001, explained Singh, and has “remained in their loving home ever since.”
They have always been present in other people’s lives, helping and giving whatever possible, said Singh.
“Now we ask to do the same for them. Anything helps.”
Deputy fire chief Brad Perrie, who was also on scene, and confirmed that it was a fast moving fire.
“From the time of our notification, we were probably on scene within eight minutes and the fire was moving fast and heavily involved,” he said.
Both Larsson and Perrie believe the fire started in an outdoor shed that was up against the rear of the home in the backyard.
The wife was in the kitchen making tea when she heard a noise and turned to see smoke and fire coming up past the kitchen window, said Perrie.
She then got everyone up and out of the house.
Neighbours also had to be evacuated from their homes, added Larsson, although their homes were saved with only some damage to the exterior of the buildings.
The fire was knocked down within about an hour, but the house, Larsson said, is a complete write-off.
“The second floor and the whole backside of the house were gone,” he said.
Perrie said the fire department is just trying to determine now what caused the fire. However, he said, he is quite confident that the fire was related to smoking materials.
“It’s an accidental fire, for sure,” he said.
The family’s insurance is taking care of them now. They were on scene within a couple of hours and have already had the house boarded up and security fencing put in, noted Perrie.
They will be placed in a hotel while their insurance company works on finding them more permanent lodging until their house can be rebuilt.
“The family will be displaced, I would think, a few months,” he added.