Campbell River firefighters battled a blaze on Joanne Drive in the Willow Point area of Campbell River Sunday. The cause of the fire still under investigation, but does not appear suspicious. Picture courtesy City of Campbell River.

Campbell River firefighters battled a blaze on Joanne Drive in the Willow Point area of Campbell River Sunday. The cause of the fire still under investigation, but does not appear suspicious. Picture courtesy City of Campbell River.

The Campbell River Fire Department is still investigating what caused a house fire that left a family of four without a home and damaged a neighbouring house Sunday.

Fire Chief Thomas Doherty says two people were in the two-storey home on Joanne Drive in the Willow Point area shortly after 12:30 p.m. when the fire was reported, and they were able to escape uninjured.

The family’s kitten, however, is missing.

Officials say the fire does not appear to be suspicious and a damage estimate isn’t available.

Doherty says the house was fully involved when crews arrived and firefighters tried to contain the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

The radiant heat from the blaze damaged a house next door, but the fire did not spread to the second house.

“Newer, modern construction materials burn faster, which has changed fire dynamics,” Doherty said in a release.

“Evidence-based data show that where it used to take between eight and 14 minutes for a fire to grow and reach the point of flashover and igniting other material, we are now seeing rapid fire growth and flashover, in as little as two to three minutes from ignition.”

Doherty says it is an example of the importance of early detection and quickly notifying the fire department with multiple 911 calls received at the No. 1 Fire Hall in Campbell River.

Smoke from the fire could be seen across the city and as far away as Quadra Island.

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