Five people have been displaced after fire broke out at a home in the 1400-block of El Camino Drive in northeast Coquitlam Thursday night.
Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the blaze, but believe it started on the outside of the detached home and worked its way up a side wall and into the attic.
"The occupants had no idea the house was on fire until our crews arrived on scene," said deputy fire chief Rod Gill, noting that with flames predominantly outside and in the attic, the smoke detectors were unable to do their job.
"Luckily the [occupants] were able to get out of the house."
He added that crews tried to gain entry to the structure but had to pull back when the roof collapsed. Nobody was hurt in the incident.
"It was a defensive fire," Gill said. "The crews did a great job of attacking it."
Coquitlam Fire and Rescue received the call at around 6:50 p.m. and were able to begin pouring water on the flames as soon as they arrived. Twenty firefighters and one chief officer were on scene.
Investigators were back on the property Friday morning sifting through the debris to try and determine what caused the blaze.
"We do know the area of origin," Gill said. "We are still tryin go to determine the exact cause at this point."