2 hospitalized after intense rescue effort at scene of Burnaby house fire
Two people are in hospital after a large house fire in Burnaby that led to an intense rescue effort Tuesday.
The flames broke out around 10:30 p.m. at a house on Victory Street near Sussex Avenue.
Massive plumes of smoke and flames were already pouring out of the windows when crews arrived.
“I came home and walked around the corner down the street here and I saw a lot of smoke and I'm like, ‘Oh my God, please don't be my house,'" said Rocco Tellier, a resident of the home. "But it's just a rental. I've just been there temporarily."
Fire officials say the residents told them 10 people lived inside the home.
“Once there's people in the building. Rescue is number one, firefighting is later on,” said Chief Darcy Robinson of Burnaby Fire Department.
Firefighters quickly jumped into action, running into the burning building to save those trapped inside, eventually rescuing two people.
They were given CPR and both were rushed to Vancouver General Hospital with a pulse. Their current condition is not yet known.
Initially some of the residents were thought to be unaccounted for, though firefighters found no one during searches of the building.
Part of the floor collapsed during the fire making the home unsafe to enter again, so there were fears the remaining two people may have been stuck inside. It seemed initially the residents were unsure.
“(It was) also reported that a couple of people earlier in the evening might have left the house for unknown reasons,” said Robinson.
Fortunately, they were not trapped inside. Their whereabouts have since been confirmed.
The damage to the home is significant with burnt out and broken windows with heavy smoke, fire and water damage.
“It's an illegal house just the way the rooms are set up. Luckily my buddy AJ happened to go out from the back door and there's a front door, but I don't know exactly what happened,” said Tellier.
Fire crews are expected to reassess the situation in daylight to ensure it’s safe for investigators to re-enter the home.
“We'll kind of do the process again and see to make sure that there is nobody in there,” said Robinson.
Police tape was up around the home overnight as an officer kept watch of the scene.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, but crews believe it started in the basement.