Blaze sends two to hospital

Vanderhoof firefighters extricate the window of a Third Street home on Monday, Jan. 14, to extinguish a house fire caused by cooking oil

Vanderhoof firefighters extricate the window of a Third Street home on Monday

Two young males were treated for smoke inhalation at St. John Hospital in Vanderhoof on Monday, Jan. 21, after a fire consumed the Third Street home where they were living.

The fire started at approximately 1 p.m. and spread rapidly through the bungalow, facilitated by the building’s old age of 60 years.

An investigation by the Vanderhoof Fire Department revealed the blaze was caused by a pot of cooking oil that was left unattended on a stove while the two males were away.

When they returned some time later, the house was engulfed with flames, said Fire Chief Joe Pacheco.

“It was a small quarters,” he said, “so the fire took hold pretty quickly.”

The two males suffered smoke inhalation when they dashed inside the home to save their pet iguana.

After receiving the initial emergency call, the fire department deployed 15 firefighters to the scene, where they unraveled hoses, tapped a nearby hydrant and started drenching the home’s interior with water. “The crew did an excellent job,” said Pacheco.

Several officers from the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment attended the scene to set up road blocks, warn other homeowners of potential danger, take witness statements and gather information.

“The fire is not deemed suspicious,” said Sergeant Jason Keays, commander of the Vanderhoof RCMP detachment.

For close to an hour, acrid black smoke enveloped the neighborhood as firefighters wearing respirators pried away window frames and used thermal imagery cameras to extinguish the blaze completely.

Located only a block away from the fire department, the house fire took less than 45 minutes to put out, said Pacheco.


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