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

Fraser Valley Bald Eagle Festival explodes in popularity, draws thousands to Mission, Harrison Mills

Weather, news, social media contribute to high turnout, says president

Philomusica Chorus presents lively concert A Calypso Christmas

Caribbean-themed Christmas concert set for Dec. 2 in Chilliwack

Wide variety of art for sale at Art from the Heart show

Student art show runs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

District of Kent to implement snow fence pilot project

$8,000 project to help prevent hazardous, drifting snow, and more from Kent council

VIDEO: E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Legal battle ahead for suspended B.C. legislature executives

Public removal ‘very unfair,’ says veteran clerk Craig James

B.C. sees biggest spike in homicides across Canada, at 34%

Much of the killing was attributed to gang violence, according to Statistics Canada

Sea lion tangled in rope on Vancouver Island

Marine debris is a ‘significant problem’ for marine wildlife

Postal strike affects charities at critical fundraising time

Canadian fundraising professionals and charities join call for fast resolution

$90,000 pen from space created by B.C man

The Space pen is made from a meteorite

B.C. woman fined $2,300 for clocking 215 km/hr in Alberta

It’s the highest fine Alberta police have issued

Police renew call to ID suspect who pushed Surrey man into traffic near PNE

VPD haven’t received enough tips in the months since

5 to start your day

Police try to thwart retaliation after Hells Angels member killed, criminal investigation at B.C. legislature and more

Most Read