Quick-acting Port Coquitlam firefighters stopped a huge garage fire from spreading to a neighbouring home last night (Thursday).
The blaze started in a garage in a townhome at 1137 Bennet Dr. in the Citadel Heights neighbourhood.
When firefighters arrived at around 9:45 p.m., they saw flames bursting through the garage door.
Three people in the townhome escaped without injury and were offered support from Coquitlam RCMP victim services, according to Chief Robert Kipps.
The residents in the adjoining home were evacuated, as well, he said; however, there were concerns the fire could spread to the neighbouring home.
To prevent that from happening, Kipps said, pressurized air was forced into the adjoining home using large gas blowers.
“Heat doesn’t want to migrate into the unburnt side,” Kipps explained.
There were additional challenges, too, because the townhouse is on a hill, providing some access problems for fire crews who had to attack the fire from both the front and back, as well as with a ladder truck using water to douse the flames that erupted from the roof.
As many as 16 firefighters were brought to the scene, requiring a third alarm to get as many crews to the site as needed.
FortisBC and BC Hydro were also called out to shut off gas and power for safety.
It's not known what caused the blaze; inspectors have yet to do a thorough investigation because the building is deemed unsafe, Kipps said.
The townhome sustained heavy damage in the blaze.
Still, neighbours are congratulating firefighters for their quick response and reaching out to the people who were affected.
“There was a big fire in Port Coquitlam last night off of Eastern Drive in the townhouses on Bennet Street I believe. There was so much smoke, but the firefighters were there so fast, working so hard to get the blaze out. I hope everyone got out safely,” wrote Andrea Benvenuto-Honarbin on the Port Coquitlam Community Facebook page.