It was a very close call for two people in Lake Cowichan on Friday as they were able to scramble out of their Lake Cowichan home moments after it burst into flames, thanks to their neighbours.
The fire broke out around 11 a.m. from their home along Mountain View Drive.
Some neighbours say they were first alerted to it by a loud bang.
“We heard an explosion and we thought it was thunder up above,” said Elaine Winter, a neighbour who was inside her house.
Winter said soon after she looked outside and realized her neighbour’s home was on fire.
“You could see the back of their house underneath some smoke and flames started coming out the bottom and then it came up through the deck yeah terrible,” said Winter.
Another neighbour who saw the flames at the back of the home pounded on the doors and side of the house to alert those inside. Two residents an adult woman and a teenage boy who were unaware of the fire, escaped before fire crews arrived.
“Very, very fortunate. Fortunate time of day, a very visual time of day [with] a lot of people around, ” said Chief Doug Knott of the Lake Cowichan Fire Department.
There was no time, however, to remove the homeowner’s eight birds.
Neighbours say the homeowner’s husband died of cancer several years ago.
The fire was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived, so they took a defensive position.
“It’s a three-story home. That’s what the challenge was. There were three stories on fire on the backside upon arrival. Wooden sundecks and wooden stairs,” said Chief Knott.
No one was in the basement suite when the fire broke out which people were moving out of.
Once firefighter’s knocked down the flames the best they could, an excavator then moved in to pull the house apart to allow firefighters more access.
The house is a total loss.
Police are currently investigating and the fire department is saying there’s no indication yet how the fire may have started.