The owner of a frightened dog that was just saved from a north Nanaimo house fire held on tight Wednesday as firefighters tried to save what remained of the family’s home.
“It was a significant fire,” said Deputy Chief Tim Doyle of Nanaimo Fire Rescue.
“When crews arrived it was fully involved so they started defensively attacking the fire. Not putting any firefighters in there,” he said.
A Nanaimo mother and her four little girls were all inside the Burma Road home when their smoke alarms started sounding at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
They ran from the fire and all got out safely.
Firefighters say within the few minutes it took for crews to arrive, the house became fully engulfed in flames and the roof where the fire appears to have started caving in.
So investigators will look closely at why the fire started there.
“It is a cedar shingle roof and this time of year people are heating with their fireplaces,” said Alan Millbank, Fire Prevention Officer with Nanaimo Fire Rescue.
“But it’s still pretty dry. So it’s possible that that is the potential cause of the fire but I still have to investigate.”
Firefighters are crediting working smoke alarms for allowing the family to escape quickly and are urging everyone to ensure they have the same safety measures in place, with this weekend’s change over from daylight savings time.
“Definitely change your batteries and make sure you have working smoke alarms,” said Doyle.
The home is so badly damaged that investigators said it is a write off. One cat and the family’s dog were both rescued after they leapt from windows, but two pets remain unaccounted for.