Cat dies, firefighter injured in Langford townhouse fire

Cat dies, firefighter injured in Langford townhouse fire
Langford's fire chief estimates 30 firefighters attended a fire on Arncote Avenue on Saturday evening. (CHEK News)

Fire crews from Langford, Colwood and View Royal attended a townhouse fire on Arncote Avenue Saturday evening, where the homeowner’s cat died and one firefighter was injured.

Chris Aubrey, Langford Fire chief, says crews received multiple 911 calls around 5:15 p.m. and were able to get the fire under control in about 15 minutes.

“It was right by station number one, so as soon as the crew started to respond, they could see the smoke right away and just a quick turn on to Arncote and they saw a visible flame so they upgraded to a second alarm right away,” Aubrey said. “They were very aggressive hitting the fire from the outside. Obviously, our biggest concern was having it spread into the rest of the townhouse complex, so they hit the fire from the outside.”

“There was no one home at the time so they did have to force the front door and fight into the second floor to get the fire put out.”

Crews were on site for two hours grabbing items for the family as well as doing some cleanup.

Aubrey says crews found a cat inside and attempted CPR but were unfortunately unsuccessful.

“The family is very upset and it’s obviously pretty heartbreaking for them,” Aubrey said. “And we did try pretty hard, it was probably 20 minutes of CPR we were doing on the cat to try to get him back but unfortunately we couldn’t get him back.”

Greg Chow, assistant fire chief of Colwood Fire says a Colwood firefighter sustained a lower limb injury and will be off work for an undetermined amount of time.

“The member was transported to VGH by BC EHS, and he has since been released and is resting,” Chow said. “We’re still waiting for assessments from the doctor, so unknown at this time in terms of the extent of the injury, but he is resting at the present time and ongoing for treatment and investigation.”

Aubrey says the firefighter tripped and fell, which is how he sustained the injury.

All three floors of the townhouse sustained damage, according to Aubrey. The second floor had fire damage, the third floor has smoke and heat damage, and the ground floor has water damage due to the efforts to put out the fire.

He estimates the townhouse sustained $100,000 in damages, and the cause of the fire is yet to be determined.

Investigation into the cause of the fire will begin on Monday.

Aubrey says this is a good reminder to check to make sure smoke alarms are working properly.

“That likely was one of the reasons that people were alerted to the fire,” Aubrey said. “So working smoke alarms are always important to have.”

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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