Blaze destroys home of mom and three young children

A mom and her three young daughters escaped from a house fire yesterday (Thursday) afternoon in Abbotsford, but lost most of their possessions.

The mom fled from the home with her six-month- and five-year-old children, and then suffered minor facial burns while assisting her two-year-old.

The blaze was reported at about 12:20 p.m. at 32046 Pineview Ave. by a neighbour.

When Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) crews arrived on scene, the house was fully engulfed in flames. Firefighters were able to control the fire after about 10 minutes and prevent it from spreading to nearby homes.

Deputy Fire Chief Mike Helmer said the home sustained major smoke, fire and water damage estimated at $150,000. The cause is believed to be a cigarette left burning in a bedroom.

He said the blaze spread quickly because of a "rich supply of oxygen" that entered the home as a result of the back patio doors and windows being left open, as well as the front door when the family escaped.

Helmer said the owner of the home was insured, but the occupants were not.

AFRS' emergency social services (ESS) was on scene and provided immediate assistance to the family. ESS provides temporary help with things such as food, accommodation, clothing and emotional support.

This is the third major house fire in Abbotsford this month. None is believed to be suspicious.

On July 5, blazes destroyed three-storey homes at 36527 Dina Place and 2284 Orchard Drive.

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