Six birds killed in early morning Maple Ridge house fire

Three taken to hospital.

  • Sep. 5, 2018 8:30 a.m.

A family of five and several pets escaped a house fire early Wednesday in Maple Ridge.

The fire started on Greenwell Street and Purdey Avenue, sometime before 3:30 a.m.

One of the daughters woke the rest of the family. All escaped, although three were taken to hospital. The father may have suffered some burns to his head.

Several pets were recovered, but six birds died and two cats remain missing.

Maple Ridge assistant fire chief Michael Van Dop said that the house was fully involved in flames when firefighters arrived.

Three people were taken to hospital with injuries, but have since been released.

“One of the adults had first- and second-degree burns on their head, but treated and released,” Van Dop said.

“Everybody was out of the house on our arrival. The home is heavily fire-damaged.”

Crews remain on scene this morning to do an investigation to try to determine the cause.

Van Dop confirmed that pet birds in the house on the upper storey didn’t survive, but firefighters did rescue three guinea pigs from the basement.

Tony Tonnellier, who lives in the basement, said the smoke alarms sounded waking his sister, who alerted the rest of the family. “I was the last one out. Within 15 minutes, the whole upstairs was burning,” said Tonnellier. “I’ve never been in a fire like that. I didn’t know a house could burn that quickly.”

His girlfriend Kristin Connor escaped as soon as she could. “I grabbed my slippers, glasses, phone and phone charger and got out.” She later recovered some of other possessions, such as her identification, jewelry and clothes. The family has been in the house for about five years and have house insurance.

The fire department, with Fire Hall No. 1 visible from the house, just north of Dewdney Trunk Road, was there in minutes.

One cat, named Spooky was rescued and was resting in a cat carrier in one of the family’s vehicles. But the other two cats, Sophie and Honey were missing. Connor though noted that firefighters haven’t found them inside, and that the doors were open when the house was on fire.

“We’re hopeful, always hopeful. Cats are pretty resilient little animals in terms of taking care of themselves and getting out. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they’re gone at this point, just unaccounted for,” Van Dop said.

Most of the residents reported the smoke alarms sounding, Van Dop added. “So that’s good. Working smoke alarms save lives.”

Six trucks responded and 25 firefighters tackled the blaze.

 

Firefighters are investigating overnight blaze on Greenwell Street in Maple Ridge. (THE NEWS/files)

Spooky survived fire but other two cats are missing. (Phil Melnychuk/THE NEWS)

Just Posted

How much does your city spend per person on snow removal?

Black Press Media compares 2018 ice and snow removal budgets of various Lower Mainland communities

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

UPDATE: Chilliwack man arrested for Agassiz break and enters

Westin Ferguson, 19, faces charges relating to break and enters throughout Agassiz

Short closures on Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge during pier upgrades

The project comes before the major retrofit of the bridge, which has been in the works since 2017

Preliminary inquiry starts for Chilliwack woman charged in 2016 fatal hit-and-run

Linnea Labbee, 70, accused in Dec. 1, 2016 incident that killed 78-year-old Fourghozaman Firoozian

VIDEO: Wheelchairs teach Agassiz students acceptance through sport

Teacher Donna Gallamore brought wheelchairs to the Kent Elementary for learning and fun

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

5 to start your day

The B.C. government released it’s 2019 budget, we break down snow removal per capita and more

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Tears, flowers at impromptu memorial for Syrian children killed in Halifax fire

The family had only lived in the Quartz Drive home for a few months

NDP candidates push for stronger climate action as Singh supports LNG Canada

Singh has tried to project unity in the party while facing internal criticism for poor fundraising and low support in the polls

Most Read