House, presents destroyed in 'total loss' fire
A Surrey, B.C., family has been left homeless just 10 days before Christmas after a massive fire destroyed their home and all of their presents early Wednesday morning.
The blaze was fully involved when crews from Surrey Fire arrived at the two-storey home in the 17900-block of Fraser Highway around 12:30 a.m.
The owners of the home were not there, but their 15-year-old son was. Kabir Gill was inside with his uncle Sunny Brar, his aunt and their children, a one-year-old girl and five-year-old boy. Gill's elderly grandmother was also inside.
Everyone was able to escape unharmed but Gill ran back into the house to rescue his nephew when he realized the teen wasn't outside. Gill was taken to hospital and treated for smoke inhalation.
The older structure of the house made the fire difficult for firefighters to knock down, said Surrey Fire Battalion Chief Lorne West.
"There's no fire breaks in the walls so the fire was able to travel very rapidly up inside the walls," he said.
Within minutes of their arrival, the fire had spread through the attic and outside the walls.
"It's a total loss," West said.
Brar told CTV News the family has lost all of their Christmas presents and family photos. A planned trip to fly to India tomorrow to visit family is in jeopardy because his passport and identification was destroyed.
The family reported seeing some fire around an electric fireplace, but investigators say they won't release the cause until a full investigation is complete.