COQUITLAM — Investigators have determined a lit candle was the cause of a fire in a Coquitlam townhouse over the weekend.
Fire crews were called to the building in the 3100 block of Ozada Avenue near the City Centre just before 2 p.m. Saturday.
When crews arrived, one unit was fully involved with flames on the second and third floors.
The two-alarm fire was quickly put out, but two residents were taken to hospital suffering from smoke inhalation.
One unit was destroyed, while another two received smoke and water damage.
But it’s the cause of the blaze that has Coquitlam Fire and Rescue officials troubled.
Chief Tony Delmonico noted Saturday’s fire was the third accidental blaze in Coquitlam started by a candle since October.
“We’re hoping, especially with Christmastime when candles are more prevalent, that people will take extra precautions with the use of candles and make sure they do it safely,” he said.
Desiree Demchuck lives above the unit that caught fire.
She had just returned home from a birthday party when she noticed the streets were blocked off and flames were coming from the building.
"There were really bad flames coming out of the window," Demchuck told The NOW.
"I was like 'Oh my god, it's right beside me.'”
After an anxious wait, fire crews eventually told Demchuck her unit had water damage and she wouldn't be allowed back in for at least the night.
Her TV and some of her furniture were destroyed.
Demchuck said she heard the people in the unit where the fire began had just moved into the building that day.
Crews were at the building for several hours mopping up the scene.
It wasn’t the only call that kept the fire department on its toes.
On Sunday, Coquitlam Centre needed to be evacuated following a gas leak.
Crews were called to the mall around 3 p.m. after a large branch fell from a tree, severing a gas line by the loading dock of The Bay.
The gas was shut off, but quickly restored once the problem was fixed.
The fire department carried out air testing in the mall, but found no readings of gas.
Within the hour, shoppers were allowed to return back to the mall.