Skip to main content

'A crazy scene': Teen describes escape from burning New Westminster home


It was early Tuesday morning when Anthony Gomez awoke to the sound of people banging on the door of his home in New Westminster.

“People were screaming ‘Fire, fire, someone call 911,’” the 18-year-old said in an interview with CTV News.

He quickly discovered a scene he will never forget.

“I see my back patio engulfed in flames and it was just a crazy scene. And my mom comes out of her room, obviously in a panic,” he explained.

Gomez said his mom was initially hesitant to leave.

“I told her to back away, get away from there, we have to get out of here as soon as possible. Just forget everything, leave (it) behind,” he recalled.

All six people inside the home got out safely.

Multiple cats and a pet turtle were also rescued from the house fire in the Queensborough neighbourhood.

Firefighters were called to the home on McGillivray Place near the Queensborough Bridge around 6:30 a.m., according to Gord Denhoed, acting assistant fire chief for New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services.

When they arrived, crews found "really heavy involvement of fire" at the back of the home, Denhoed said.

Video shared with CTV News by a neighbour shows flames ripping through the building's second floor. In it, someone can be seen using a garden hose to spray water at the blaze before firefighters arrived.

Crews determined that all residents of the home had gotten out safely, Denhoed said, adding that "a couple of cats" and a turtle had been rescued, and no significant injuries had occurred to either residents or firefighters.

"Fortunately, we were able to contain the fire from spreading to the adjacent structures," the acting assistant chief added.

The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Gomez said his mom had insurance and they are staying with family until they figure out what’s next.

Despite what they’ve lost, he’s grateful everyone is okay, especially his mom.

“That is something I hope to never relive,” he said. Top Stories

Stay Connected