ABBOTSFORD - An Abbotsford family has been forced from their home after a large fire tore through their garage early Monday morning.
The fire broke out shortly after midnight on Princess Street near Coral Avenue. Smoke and flames were shooting out of the front of the house.
Firefighters were faced with a "garage fully involved that was attached to the house, and they (the crews) aggressively attacked the interior and stopped the fire from moving into the main part of the residence," said Asst. Chief Jeff Snider with the Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service.
According to Snider, the residents were home at the time of the fire, and several cats were rescued by firefighters.
"At this time it's not considered suspicious, our investigator will have another look in the morning," said Snider.
Brianne Kirkpatrick, who lives in the home's basement, said she woke up to one of her roommates yelling.
"He was just yelling fire," she said. I grabbed my purse, grabbed my daughter and got my dogs out."
Dan Gascon, who also lives in the basement, said five cats, two dogs and two fish that live in the house made it out but that two pet rabbits died.
"Catastrophe. There's no other way to put it," he said. "Everything's gone. You just gotta start over again."
Gascon and Kirkpatrick added there were electronic bikes along with their batteries in the garage, but it's unclear whether those had a role in sparking the fire.
A neighbouring home was also damaged, but firefighters were able to stop the fire from spreading to that home.
This was the second fire in Abbotsford within six hours. The first fire was at a laundromat and it destroyed several businesses and the roof collapsed.
"(It's the) second big fire of the night and the guys did a good job again, they got onto it quickly and aggressively and sort it out. They are tired and they’re strained, but they keep doing their job just like they always do," said Snider.
The residents have not been allowed to return home, and Emergency Social Services has provided a place for them to go for the time being.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Nafeesa Karim
A fire has gutted a house on Princess St in #Abbotsford early Morning morning. @iaff2864 arrived to a fully involved garage fire that was attached to a home. Several cats were saved by firefighters. This is the second fire in Abbotsford in less than 8 hours. @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/HRPJMz2V43— Jordan Jiang (@J___Squared) October 7, 2019