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REPORTING · 26th August 2013
Walter McFarlane
Photos contributed by Cst. Chris Manseau, Kitimat RCMP

There were sirens on the highway on Wednesday, August 21st as fire crews and emergency services responded to a structure fire on 126 Chinook Avenue at 8:26 am. Upon arrival, they found that three structures, two houses and a garage were on fire.

“Upon arrival, we noticed that there appeared to be the remains of a garage and two residential structures that were impinged with flame. The two houses located on the property were joined by a garage,” said Peter Bizarro, Deputy Fire Chief of the Kitimat Fire Department.

Fifteen Fire Fighters fought the fire and there were no injuries to either the home occupants or the firefighters. The fire was discovered by a child who was residing in one of the homes.

“He was one of the first to recognize there was a fire in his back yard, he notified his parents, once he notified them, he ran to his neighbours to call for assistance. I think we certainly want to commend his actions in getting everybody out of his house, not going back into that house and phoning 911,” said Bizarro.

The crews went to work on the house with the lease amount of fire damage and moved onto the second structure. While it was reported as possibly having people in the structure, by the time the crews arrived, they were updated with information that everybody was out.

There was extensive damage to the garage and to one of the homes. Another house received smoke and water damage to the back corner of the house. As for the cause:

“What we did do, in our initial investigation, was reveal the point of origin. The point of origin has been determined to be in the garage area and it was a large garage connecting both structures. Due to the fire damage and the few loads that are in there, we weren’t unable to pin point an actual cause. The actual cause is undetermined,” said Bizarro.

We were told the fire could have caused much more damage in the Cablecar neighbourhood if it had taken place earlier this summer during the heat wave.

The power was also out in Cablecar that morning. According to Bizarro, they make sure the power is cut to the building while they fight a fire with their Arial Ladder Truck. When the Ladder Truck is operated above power lines, they need to ensure the power is out in those lines. BC Hydro was also doing some work in the neighbourhood at the time.

We also asked Bizarro about the smoke coming out of Strawberry Meadows. He explained it is from a contractor doing work down there. He has a burning permit and is following procedures.