Fire crews narrowly rescue second home from blaze

Firefighters battled a blaze and heavy winds on the 4700 Block of Straume Avenue, focusing on keeping the house next door from igniting.

Fire Lieutenant Colin Willoner and firefighter James Marrow

Twenty-five firefighters battled a blaze early this morning on the 4700 Block of Straume Avenue, narrowly rescuing the home next door from catching flame.

Fire chief John Klie says smoke was billowing from the eaves when fire crews arrived at about 2 a.m., and the house was fully charged with smoke. The 17 City of Terrace firefighters, eight Thornhill firefighters and two fire trucks had the blaze under control in three hours.

Klie praised the neighbours who called the fire department, saying their call likely saved the second house.

Fire lieutenants circled the house and did a quick survey, noting melted curtains and blackened windows, indicating that the fire was smouldering with lack of oxygen.

They vented the fire out the back door, blowing air through the house from the front.

After it vented, fire crews attempted to enter the front door, but Klie says they only got a few feet because of debris and clutter blocking the entrance.

Retreating back outside, crews proceeded with a defensive attack, crashing out several windows and pouring water into the fire that way.

As they battled the blaze, high wind was howling eastward and Klie says it was blowing the flames and smoke onto the attic of the second home.

Klie says they focused personal and resources on saving the second home, since the first one was already a clear loss.

Pouring water onto the neighbouring home and venting air in the front door to pressurize the home and keep the smoke out, Klie says they managed to save the house completely from all fire and heat damage. The only damage in that second home was slight smoke damage.

The first home was completely destroyed. No one was injured.

The home owner was not at home at the time, and fire crews have ruled out suspicious activity as the cause of the blaze.