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Family home gutted, firefighter injured

A family home was gutted and an Abbotsford firefighter injured after a stubborn and dangerous fire on Oakridge Crescent Wednesday night.

Fire crews arrived to the manufactured home at 31526 Oakridge Cr. just after 7 p.m. last night to find smoke pouring out of the back of the home.

Lieut. Michelle Jackson said five firefighters went through the front door but were hampered by clutter in the house and extra additions to the home's structure.

"The whole property, inside and out, had a lot a debris, " said Jackson.

"Additions on the home made it boxy with lots of doors, hallways, and confined areas which acted as compartments. The unusual layout made it difficult [for crews] to even find the fire to fight it."

The additional combustible material in the home caused conditions to deteriorate very quickly, and crews were forced to withdraw, said Jackson.

"The smoke layer was so thick and close to the floor firefighters were practically on their bellies and couldn't see anything, and it was difficult to maneuver the twists and turns of the structure," she said.

"It got hot so fast. The fire officer saw things could go sideways very quickly, so he ordered his crew out for their safety."

Firefighters then worked to protect surrounding buildings as the fire broke through the back and roof of the home.

Crews could not do a complete search of the home, but were able to account for all four occupants, all of whom were unhurt.

However, a firefighter broke multiple bones and fingers in his hand battling the blaze and was expected to undergo surgery today.

The cause of the fire is still unknown, said Jackson.

The house is destroyed, and damage to both its structure and contents is estimated to be $225,000.

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