Pregnant mother douses ‘close call’

Garden house attached to pressure washer saves home

  • May. 26, 2015 3:00 p.m.
Danika Adamthwaite was able to limit the damage to an ATV and camper trailer.

Danika Adamthwaite was able to limit the damage to an ATV and camper trailer.

Danika Adamthwaite’s evening was progressing like any other for a pregnant mother of three young children – putting out fires.

At 33 weeks along in her pregnancy,  Adamthwaite was juggling bath and reading times for her kids last week, while her husband and her father made a trip to the hardware store to gather more supplies for renovations to their garage.

After baths, Adamthwaite made her way towards her kitchen, where she noticed a car parked at the front gate of their property, located in a sparsely populated area along 272nd Street in east Maple Ridge.

“I thought it was odd because we almost never get visitors,“ she recalls.

What was even more vexing was the wild hand gestures the person was making. Not sure what was going on, Adamthwaite then noticed an orange glow. Then she quickly looked out towards her garage and noticed what the person was trying to tell her.

A fire had erupted, spreading quickly from a garbage can and had engulfed an ATV and was spreading quickly to the older trailers parked beside their garage.

“I just went running through the house, but because I’m pregnant, I guess my legs just gave out,” she recalls.

She was able to pick herself up and scramble outside.

“I didn’t really think about it. I just thought, ‘Oh my God, I’ve got to get the hose.’”

Adamthwaite said luck was on her side as she started to douse the flames. The hose was connected to the pressure washer.

While spraying the motor home and ATV in hopes the fire wouldn’t spread, something exploded, sending a fireball straight up in the air. The tree beside their garage, stretching almost 20 metres in the air, has the scorch marks to prove it.

But she was able to contain and put out the fire before the fire department arrived about 10 to 15 minutes later.

“It was kind of a blur. By the time I had the fire out, I was feeling a little shaky as my adrenaline was coming down,” said Adamthwaite.

The rush also prevented her from realizing that her feet were blistering from being so close to the heat.

She was taken to the hospital to treat her burns for precautionary reasons.

With just seven weeks to go before her due date, the young mother said, looking back, she’s thankful everything worked out so well. While the ATV  and trailer are ruined, along with some toys and siding on the garage, she acknowledges it could have been much worse.

“We’re very fortunate. It could have gone so horribly wrong. I’ve heard and read other stories recently in the news and I’m just so super grateful it didn’t spread.”

The Maple Ridge fire department couldn’t confirm the source of the fire.