A family of six lost almost everything, including two dogs, in an early-morning fire on Monday in Abbotsford.
The blaze took place just after 6 a.m. in a two-storey home at the corner of Beharrell and Hallert roads, east of Highway 11 on Matsqui Prairie.
Assistant Fire Chief Dave Rivett of Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service said a mom, dad and four young children were sleeping at the time of the fire. He said the rental home did not have fire alarms, and they were awakened by the smell of smoke.
They all escaped uninjured, but two of their three dogs perished.
Rivett said the fire began at the back of the house, but the cause was not known as of Monday afternoon.
He said the blaze, which gutted much of the residence, was a difficult one to battle.
“(It was an) extremely hard fire to fight simply because it advanced a fair amount before we got there, and also this house has been remodelled several times so there’s all kind of void spaces.”
Rivett said two firefighters were treated on the scene for minor injuries – one involving a hand and the other a shoulder.
Rivett said the family did not have insurance and lost most of their belongings.
Emergency Social Services was on the scene, assisting the family with accommodation, food and other urgent needs.