ANMORE - A home has been destroyed after an early-morning fire on Elementary Road in Anmore.
Brad Engel, who lives next door to where the blaze was, told CTV News Vancouver he spotted flames around 4:30 a.m. and first tried putting the fire out himself using a garden hose as he called 911.
"When I finally got through to 911, the fire just breached the roofline," Engel said. "My hose wasn’t doing much, but it was doing something. I tried.”
Engel estimates Sasamat's fire crew, which is staffed by volunteers, was on scene fighting the fire in about 15 minutes.
Sasamat Volunteer Fire Department's chief, Jay Sharpe, lives nearby and estimates he was on scene within about two minutes of being notified of the fire.
“It was pretty much fully involved when we showed up,” Sharpe said. “It got into the attic space and it travelled horizontally across the top of the house so it was difficult to fight.”
About 25 volunteer firefighters spent hours pouring water on the home, but flames continued to flare up on the second floor of the home as smoke billowed into the air until about 7:30 a.m.
Shortly before 8 a.m., fire crews confirmed the fire was out.
"We'll be here for at least another couple of hours putting out hotspots and overhauling,” Sharpe told CTV News Vancouver. "Then we’ll be starting the investigation."
There is no indication on a cause yet but it’s believed the fire started somewhere near the garage.
Sharpe said the homeowners are long-time local residents who are out of the country. He spoke to them by phone from the scene Monday morning.
"They're in shock right now," he said.
No neighbouring homes were damaged.
John McEwen, who is the mayor of the Village of Anmore, came to the scene Monday morning after being alerted to the fire in his small community.
“Everybody knows everybody so this is going to have a dramatic effect,” said McEwen, who has previously met the homeowners.
“Look at all the volunteers that are here. These are people that have regular jobs who are getting up at 4:30 in the morning when the call came in to be able to come down here and protect the neighbourhood and the people who live in the community,” McEwen told CTV when asked about the fire department’s response.
It’s believed the homeowners have insurance. There were no injuries.
Elementary Road, which is the main route to Anmore Elementary School will be closed for the morning both because of the smoke in the area and to make room for vehicles from fire, RCMP and BC Ambulance.
This is the Anmore man who spotted his neighbour’s house on fire and tried to put it out with his garden hose as he called 9-1-1. Says firefighters were on scene within 10 or 15 minutes. They are still dousing the fire now as it continues to flare up. @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/D5bHvM4yEG— Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) September 30, 2019