A small fire at a Chilliwack apartment building could have caused far more damage if not for the quick thinking of people walking by.
Around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday (June 29), the blaze broke out on the exterior of the building in the 7400 block of Shaw Avenue.
Forty five firefighters were dispatched, but by the time they arrived it was already well in hand. Passers-by used fire extinguishers and a garden hose to knock it down while people inside the building evacuated.
Fire crews finished the job, extinguishing the blaze which started on the second floor on a corner suite balcony. The building suffered damage to the balcony and exterior siding.
There was one person home in the suite at the time of the fire, and that person made it out uninjured. Two people suffered minor scratches as they evacuated the building with pets.
There were no firefighter injuries.
The Chilliwack Fire Department said the fire appears to be accidentally caused by smoking materials, and the public is reminded to extinguish and discard smoking material in an approved container, and make sure the container is emptied regularly to prevent build-up of combustibles.