'It was a close call': Resident forced to jump from balcony after East Vancouver house fire
Published Monday, October 14, 2019 7:39AM PDT
Last Updated Monday, October 14, 2019 1:30PM PDT
VANCOUVER - A two-alarm fire damaged a home in East Vancouver early Monday morning, according to Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services.
"We are still in shock about what happened," said resident Runel Echavez. "It was super fast. We can’t really believe what happened."
As the home filled with smoke around 3:30 a.m., Echavez said he was forced to jump from the balcony on the second floor after first making sure his family dog made it out okay.
"I couldn’t go down, there was too much smoke," Echavez said. "My body is pretty sore, I didn’t land properly."
Firefighters say they arrived to the 700 block of East 38th Avenue and found heavy smoke coming out of the basement.
According to Echavez, several students live in the home’s basement suite, and he lives upstairs with his family. It’s not clear when anyone will be allowed back inside.
A neighbor told CTV News Vancouver that the flames were shooting out of a basement window and were very close to their house.
The second alarm fire brought in roughly 45 firefighters to battle the blaze that may have started in the kitchen area in the basement.
"Our fire crew went in with an aggressive fire attack. With the basement suite the way it was, it was a little compromised … and they managed to put it out,” said Acting Asst. Fire Chief Richard Craven.
The fire is not considered suspicious, but a fire investigator was on scene Monday morning trying to determine how it started. It’s believed the fire started somewhere in the basement suite.
"It was a close call but luckily we are all fine," Echavez said.
Fraser Street was closed for several hours during the fire but re-opened to traffic around 6 a.m.
A second alarm fire has forced at least 2 families from their home on East 38th Ave. Fraser St was closed as @VanFireRescue knocked down the blaze that may have started in the basement. @IAFF18. Details on @CTVVancouver & @CTVMorningLive pic.twitter.com/r4gY8vNY7q— Jordan Jiang (@J___Squared) October 14, 2019
Crews from @VanFireRescue are still mopping up after a 2 alarm fire on E 38th near Fraser Street overnight. Two families out of their homes but everyone accounted for. It’s believed the fire started in a basement suite. I’m live with details on @CTVMorningLive @CTVVancouver pic.twitter.com/ZHFaOYKeEh— Sheila Scott (@Sheila_Scott) October 14, 2019