It wasn't much past eight o'clock in the morning Wednesday when Shirley and Peter Howard opened their blinds, only to see smoke.
There was so much haze that it enveloped the entire backyard of the Coquitlam couple's Cottonwood Avenue home.
They immediately called 911.
Within a few minutes, Coquitlam Fire & Rescue crews were on scene battling a blaze two doors down in the 600 block of Cottonwood.
"It's not a very nice thing to wake up to," Shirley told The NOW, from the doorstep of her home Wednesday.
By the time crews arrived, heavy smoke and flames were coming from the basement.
Firefighters were also met by two occupants, one of whom was taken to hospital with burns to his face.
The fire was quickly extinguished, while several works of art were recovered from the upstairs portion of the home. Fire chief Tony Delmonico
said late Wednesday the home suffered about $100,000 worth of damage. The home next door was also affected, and suffered minor damage. It's expected residents on both floors of the home will be displaced for at least a couple of weeks.
"At this point it's deemed suspicious," said Delmonico, who ruled out the presence of a marijuana grow-op or drug lab.
"We've been interviewing the ten-ants downstairs but we haven't been able to determine exactly what it is."
Both fire officials and RCMP were on scene for much of Wednesday morning. According to the Howards, the owner of the burned-out home is an elderly woman, who has lived at the address for years with her husband.
They said her husband is in Hong Kong, while the basement was being rented out. The couple said they've known the people living in the home for years and they have never been a problem.
As for the home, Coquitlam Deputy Fire Chief Greg Mayberry said it suffered extensive fire damage in the basement and smoke damage to the upper floors.