Six people escape Chilliwack house fire

Chilliwack firefighters rescue two people struggling to escape through basement window.

Six people escaped a fire that caused significant damage to home in the 9500 block of Rotary Street in Chilliwack Saturday.

When firefighters arrived, two residents of the basement suite were struggling to escape the heavy smoke by climbing out the basement window. They were helped to safety by the firefighters; one was taken to hospital for observation.

Four other occupants of the home, two who lived in the basement and two that lived upstairs and were asleep at the time, were able to escape unharmed after being alerted to the fire by a working smoke alarm.

The fire broke out just before 1:30 p.m. on Saturday. When fire crews arrived, heavy smoke was billowing from the two-storey, 1960s home, located near Chilliwack secondary school.

Firefighters were able to knock down the fire quickly, but not before the fire had travelled into the upstairs and caused significant damage to the basement suite, an upstairs bedroom and heavy smoke damage throughout the entire house.    The cause of the fire is unknown and is not considered suspicious.   Preliminary investigation shows that a fire originating in a basement suite kitchen as the probable cause.  RCMP and Chilliwack Fire Department are continuing their investigation.

There were no firefighter injuries in battling the fire.    Two dogs and a cat were also removed unharmed from the residence.   Emergency Social Services were called upon to assist with temporary accommodation.