A major house fire in Cumberland on Camp Road early Saturday morning has sent one man to hospital, and displaced multiple families.

Nick Charette and his son were on their way to go camping when they came across the blaze around 5:30 a.m.

“My son pointed it out as I was driving down the road…  I started seeing light flickering,” said Charette.

After calling 911 Charette rushed over to help, that’s when he realized he knew the family inside the first house to catch fire.

The home’s owner came out and was badly injured, but luckily the owner’s wife and four kids were on a camping trip.

Other nieghbours also stepped in.

“We were asking if kids were home, as soon as I found out the kids weren’t there I felt like it was just a house fire,” said Charette.

“All of our kids have gone to school with each other… this was extremely intimate for me.”

Officials quickly arrived on the scene, and Charette and others continued to help. They then shifted their focus to the neighbouring house that started to catch fire.

“The flames were two times the size of the house, there was electrical arcking and sparking,” said Charette.

“[The fire marshal and I] entered house and were calling… by that time trucks showed up and owner of second house helped him pull lines.”

Charette says the two families in the home got out safely but that the first home’s owner was severely burned.

“He was in shock, not very responsive and had a burned back, hands and feet,” said Charette.

B.C. Ambulance says one patient was flown to hospital in critical condition.

The flames were so intense that plastic on some cars parked on the street melted.

Members of the small community say the incident was shocking.

“Quite a few neighbours helped, it was all hands on deck,” said Charette.

“Some people were standing with jaws dropped… it was surreal… it was just crackling fire and silence.”

The first home had the owner and his wife, along with four children. The second property had two families. Over ten people have been displaced.

But the small town is coming together to support those impacted.

A account for donations has been opened at the Cumberland Credit Union.

 

Julian Kolsut