The foundation and portions of a basement suite are all that's left of a three-storey house on the Westwood Plateau after a massive fire engulfed it early Friday.
It took two hours, six trucks and more than 25 firefighters to contain the blaze at 2906 Cliffrose Cres., after crews responded to the initial call at 3: 30 a.m.
"When fire crews arrived we had fire showing on all four sides of the house and through the roof," said Coquitlam Fire and Rescue Services chief Tony Delmonico. "Unfortunately that usually doesn't work out well for the residents, so the majority of their belongings have been destroyed - either [from] extensive smoke and water damage or they were consumed in the fire itself."
Four occupants in the house - two on the top floor and two on the bottom - escaped uninjured. The four surrounding houses suffered varying levels of damage: broken windows, a melted skylight and melted siding.
Each of those four adjoining houses face repairs in the range of $5,000 to $10,000, while Delmonico classified the house that initially caught fire as a "full rebuild."
"The fire appears to have started on the back deck," Delmonico said. "It was either a gas appliance or a candle. There wasn't much left of the back deck at all."
Hours earlier, local fire crews responded to reports of what appeared to be a fire on the top floor of a 40-storey tower under construction in the City Centre area late Thursday night.
When crews arrived at 2953 Atlantic Ave., however, there was no sign of smoke or fire. Delmonico explained that a series of heaters were being used to help speed up the drying process for recently hung drywall. Residents in a nearby tower saw the glow from the heaters and thought those heaters were on fire.
"The crews had to hike the full 40 floors with all of their equipment only to find out it was some propane heaters," Delmonico said.
Fast forward a few hours to Friday morning, and fire crews found themselves at Pinetree Secondary. Once at the scene, firefighters found a pop machine on fire, though the flames didn't spread further than the machine. Delmonico said crews responded by simply unplugging the machine while waiting for the smoke to clear.
"That was an unusual one that we don't normally come across," he said.