Three families are homeless following a fire that started at the back of a house in Maple Ridge Wednesday morning.
The blaze was spotted by Mary Spann who noticed a plume of black smoke while driving past the duplex on 221st Street, off Dewdney Trunk Road, around 11 a.m.
“I turned around and saw the back porch on fire,” said Spann, a realtor at Royal LePage Brookside.
With the help of a FedEx driver, Spann alerted 911 and knocked on the upstairs and downstairs suites to get all of the people out of the house.
“I was fumbling with my phone to dial 911 one because I was freaking out,” said Spann.
“It was kind of scary.”
Tegan Campbell was home from work with a cold when she heard someone banging on the front door.
“Everyone got out safe, expect our two cats,” said Campbell, who was unable to coax one of the cats from under her bed.
Joan Nielsen and her husband were returning from a walk with their dog when they saw their home in flames.
She was relieved to find her two-year-old son Loki, her brother and nephew, as well as the family next door were out of the house.
The fire started on the back porch, but assistant fire chief Mark Smitton said it was too early to pinpoint what caused it.
The residents were allowed inside to collect their belongings but won’t be able to live in the duplex for several months until it is completely repaired.
The tenants did not have renters insurance and will need donations to replace essentials such as clothing.
Clarissa Devlin said her brother, who suffers from epilepsy, lost all his belongings in the fire.
“Life hasn’t been easy for him, and he finally earned something that made him happy, and it got taken away from him,” said Devlin.
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