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Coquitlam fire crews seek cause of massive blaze that gutted a family home

Friday's fire in the Meadowbrook neighbourhood is the third house fire in the city in less than a month, family members who returned to the scene were concerned about their pets, Coquitlam fire chief says

A family has been left without a home — and three pets are missing — as Coquitlam firefighters return to the scene of a massive fire that wiped out a home last Friday afternoon.

Fire Chief Jim Ogloff confirmed to the Tri-City News that members of Coquitlam Fire Rescue are going to try to find out if it’s safe enough to enter the home and investigate the cause of the blaze, which happened in the Meadowbrook neighbourhood.

“We’re not sure we’ll be able to get our investors in because of the damage,” said Ogloff.

Crews got the call on July 9 at 4 p.m. that a fire had engulfed a home in the 2900-block of Shiloh Place.

Ogloff said that when fire crews got to the scene the fire was well underway, mostly in the back of the property with heat so “intense” that it melted the siding of a neighbouring home.

“Crews did comment it was going significantly when they arrived on scene,” Ogloff said, adding it took a few hours for 21 firefighters to put out the blaze, although it continued to smoulder and required a return visit to knock out any hot spots.

The family wasn’t at home during the fire but returned that evening; Ogloff told media at the time they were “distraught’ because their three pets were missing.


Coquitlam RCMP’s victim services offered help to the family, RCMP spokesperson Const. Deanna Law confirmed to the Tri-City News.

Last Friday’s fire is the third house fire in Coquitlam in less than a month, and the second that resulted in so much damage that the home was not habitable.

“We’ve had a lot of fires lately,” Ogloff acknowledged. “It seems as if we're in a bit of a busy time. It’s happened in the past where we’ve got fires in bunches [but] it’s a bit unusual.”

On June 10, crews attended a fire in the 200-block Therrien Street in Maillardville that left a single mom with two children without a home. A GoFundMe fundraising campaign was initiated for the family, which has raised more than $15,000 toward a $20,000 goal.


On June 26, firefighters knocked down a blaze in the 1200-block of Nestor Street, where the fire was mostly contained to the garage.

Ogloff said recent dry weather and a high forest fire rating are keeping fire crews alert and he’s pleased with provincial cash that will enable his team to track down possible fire hazards in neighbourhoods on forest edges in Coquitlam and Port Coquitlam.

This includes the hiring of four part-time student FireSmart educators in Port Coquitlam, who will provide fire prevention education; a full-time one-year FireSmart co-ordinator; and a full-time six-month Local FireSmart representative to conduct fire assessments of homes on the edge of forests. 

The nearly $500,000 in cash from B.C.'s FireSmart Economic Recovery Fund includes funding for Anmore and Belcarra and will encourage the cities and villages to work together in a coordinated way, Ogloff said.

“This is taking our message directly to the residents,” he said.