The Chilliwack Fire Department is reminding folks not to leave burning candles unattended and to make sure their smoke detectors are working following a townhouse fire on Monday.
Around 6:22 p.m. on April 19, crews were called to a fire in one unit of a townhouse complex in the 45000-block of Knight Road. Smoke and flames were seen venting from the third-floor bedroom window of the unit when the first truck of just two firefighters from Hall 4 (Sardis) arrived on scene.
An off-duty firefighter happened to be in the area and sprung into action, assisting by hooking up a hose and running the engine/pump.
When crews from Hall 1 (Chilliwack) arrived on scene, they were able to hold the fire at bay at the back of the townhouse unit while crews from Hall 4 waited for more members to arrive so they could safely enter the building.
A total of 50 firefighters from Halls 1, 3, 4 and 6 responded to the fire. They quickly knocked the fire down and entered the building to extinguish the fire, evacuate the smoke and confirm the fire had not extended past the area of origin.
Majority of the fire, smoke and water damage was contained to the bedroom with minor damage on the remaining two floors.
There were two people at home at the time of the fire, but they were able to escape with no injuries. They were assessed by paramedics for possible smoke inhalation and released. Emergency Support Services attended to provide support for the displaced tenants.
Cause of the fire was accidental and related to an unattended candle. The Chilliwack Fire Department reminds residents to never leave burning candles unattended. Candles should be in sturdy, noncombustible holders and all combustibles should be kept at least 30cm (1 foot) away from the candle.
“We want to thank the Chilliwack paid-on-call firefighters for their commitment and efforts tonight,” Chilliwack Firefighters Association Local 2826 wrote in a post on Facebook later that night. “We would also like to remind everyone how important it is to have working smoke alarms. Make sure your smoke alarms are functioning as intended, as they might be what alerts you to the fire and gets you out quickly.”
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