VIDEO: Fire destroys Chilliwack house overnight
A fast-moving fire has destroyed a Chilliwack home overnight, leaving one couple and their dog homeless.
The fire reportedly broke out in a garage at about 12:45 a.m. and quickly spread to the house, according to neighbours. Many of them were woken up by a loud boom that they believe was an explosion in the garage.
That noise also woke up the residents of the house, who joined their neighbours in the street.
Brad and Lisa Woodrow, along with their son Cody, all ran outside to see what was going on.
"My wife heard a bang, I didn't hear it," Brad said. "I maybe heard it a bit but she yelled my name, and thought maybe someone was breaking into her truck."
When they got outside they saw that the flames were already high, and coming from the soffits of the garage. The homeowners also came out to investigate, having heard the boom.
"The boom is what saved their lives," he said. "There was one big boom and he said he had a propane tank in there. The garage was fully involved when we got there."
For a minute or so, they assumed the fire department would get there in time to stop the spread of flames.
"But it moved really fast," Brad recalled. They had contemplated moving at least one of the cars away from the house, but the keys were in the house and the flames had already crawled across the roof of the house. The vehicle ended up catching fire, which was caught on video. The neighbours have all given photos and videos to the fire department to help investigate the fire, which could take several days.
Judging from phone call times and time stamps on their cameras and phones, the neighbours say the fire took only about five minutes to destroy the home. But all was not lost.
"They did recover some photos and photo albums," Brad said. "He (the homeowner) was really happy to see that. The firefighters brought out a tote of picture. He was pretty happy."
The McCaffrey Blvd. neighbourhood is a closeknit one, says neighbour Karlee Drinovz. She leapt into action to help her neighbours by creating a GoFundMe account.
"Tonight… my wonderful neighbour's garage caught on fire, then it caught on to the main part of the house and it's completely gone," she wrote.
She added that her neighbours are "amazing people" and that Victim Services is working with them already.
"Of course the worst things happen to the best people," she says. "Currently they're dealing with victim services and the stress of losing everything. I created this page for my amazing loving neighbours and hope that our amazing community can come together and help this family. Thank you so much in advance."
She told The Progress she used to babysit the homeowner's niece.
"I've known them for the most part of my life. Our neighbourhood is quite close, we all know each other very well," she said.
The Chilliwack Fire Department said Monday morning that the fire appears to be accidental but is under investigation. There were no injuries to firefighters or civilians.
They said they received the call at about 1 a.m. and responded from Halls 1, 4 and 6.
Video courtesy of Cody Woodrow.