Update, March 8, 2017: The fire has been deemed an arson. Port Moody police have taken over the investigation. Anyone with more information is asked to contact investigators at 604-461-3456 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

A house fire in Port Moody that forced a family to flee and required a daring rescue to save their dog appears to be suspicious. 

The flames broke out at the family’s home on Heritage Mountain around 10 p.m. Wednesday and spread so quickly that neighbouring properties were evacuated as a precaution.

Everyone inside was able to escape, but they were briefly distraught when they realized their pet dog was missing.

Fortunately, firefighters found the dog among the flames and carried it to safety. They then used a special oxygen mask on the animal that they'd only learned to operate the previous night.

"We were able to deploy those pet O2 masks… for that little dog and administer some therapeutic oxygen and I'm sure that assisted in its recovery," Chief Ron Coulson of Port Moody Fire Rescue said.

"It was actually quite a stroke of luck that we've just recently added these to our inventory."

The mask was in one of two kits donated to the fire hall by longtime resident Brian Borsoff, the owner of Burnaby Auto Body, just a few weeks ago. Each kit contains three specially-designed masks that can be used to treat dogs, cats and even animals as small as a mouse to treat smoke inhalation.

"I didn’t know whether to have tears in my eyes or get goosebumps on my body knowing we saved someone already," he said.

"It really makes you feel good inside that something you donated is actually being put to use and it was put to use right away."

One person suffered minor injuries in the fire and had to be taken to hospital for treatment. The property sustained extensive fire and smoke damage, and is considered uninhabitable for the time being.

The cause of the blaze hasn't been confirmed, but it appears to be suspicious. Firefighters contacted the Port Moody Police Department to help investigate, and authorities have asked anyone who saw a suspicious person or vehicle in the area Wednesday night is asked to come forward.

With a report from CTV Morning Live’s Nafeesa Karim