The Terrace fire department responded to a house fire in the basement on a lane at Lakelse Ave. and Clinton St. on April 16.
No one was inside the unit when firefighters arrived on the scene at approximately 11 a.m.
“Our crews arrived to find a large smoke volume inside the house, mainly one corner… There was visible fire in the front corner so they breached the outside of the building and gained access,” says deputy fire chief Dave Jephson.
“With the quick action of the crews, they were able to gain access into the room and extinguish the fire from the outside and then continue, with a primary and secondary sweep.”
Neighbours say a family with two or three kids occupy the rental unit in the basement.
John Dignard, a resident who lives in the upstairs unit of the home, says he smelled smoke earlier that day.
“I smelled fire twice early this morning, then they went out for a while and then came back,” he says. “The people left about five minutes just before the smoke got bad [again].”
Dignard says he stepped out for a few minutes to run errands. When he returned, his cousin came out saying the fire alarms were going off. She contacted 911 and they evacuated their upstairs residence.
“I could see from the main doors that there was quite a bit of smoke,” says Dignard. “So, I kicked the door open and the fire came out.”
There was no damage to the upstairs unit.
The basement will need cleaning.
Dignard says the family moved into the basement unit after losing their house in a fire in the Bench area last year and were waiting for the structure to be rebuilt.
An RCMP investigation concluded Tuesday’s fire is not suspicious.
Jephson says the incident is a good reminder for the public to keep their eye open to help foresee any emergencies.
“We live in communities, we live in our neighborhoods. Be diligent. Watch for your neighbours, watch for suspicious activities,” he says.
“It wasn’t for those neighbours who showed some compassion and caring, it could have been a totally different situation. We always ask people to be aware of their surroundings and not think about themselves.”