There was a residential fire in Vanderhoof last week that destroyed the house but occupants are safe.
Fire Chief Ian Leslie said they got a call at 2:29 pm on Feb. 26 for a residential fire alarm at 266 West 3rd St. They also received reports of smoke and flames coming out of the roof of the house, he said.
“We had 21 firefighters there and when we arrived there was smoke coming out of the south end gable of the roof. There was heavy smoke from the roof and the main floor,” said Leslie.
He said they fought the fire for eight hours and the cause of the fire is still under investigation.
The homeowners had an alarm system that alerted the fire department, but other neighbours and residents also called in, he said.
This was the first residential house fire Vanderhoof has seen in over a year, Leslie said, noting apart from small incidents, this is the first major structure fire in over a year.
“We had it [fire] knocked right down. It was just getting in and overhauling and trying to get it majorly put out. The house had a metal roof too so that keeps the heat in. So we couldn’t get water from the top and had to work it from the outside and cut holes,” said Leslie.
Until the roof collapses and lands back on itself, it keeps all the heat in and the fire keeps moving, he explained.
With a lot of residents using wood stoves in the District, Leslie suggest that residents look after their wood burning appliances. He said that it’s not the wood stove that catches fire, it is the operation and maintenance of the stove.
“The biggest thing in the downtown area is the smoke for the neighbours and other people. If you get a high quality stove and burn good seasoned wood and look after your chimney – it’s not a problem,” he said.
Meanwhile, the department’s new engine arrived Feb. 25 and Leslie said in less than 20 hours it was used on it’s first call.
“That worked out well for us,” he said.