Overnight fire in Port Moody leaves 126 hydro customers without power
VANCOUVER -- An overnight fire in Port Moody has left more than 100 homes temporarily without power, and destroyed two homes that were under construction.
Port Moody firefighters responded to a structure fire in the town centre near Moody Street and Henry Street around 3:00 a.m., a short walk from Moody Centre SkyTrain station.
“Upon arrival they discovered two homes under construction, both of them with laneway homes attached to the rear, fully involved in fire,” said fire chief Ron Coulson.
Firefighters immediately went into “defensive mode,” with the goal of stopping the fire from spreading to other homes, Coulson said. The homes had been unoccupied and nobody was injured.
“Both buildings appear to be a total loss at this time.”
“I woke up to the sounds of the windows popping,” said neighbour Jillian Hightower, “I looked out the window and it was just like an entire wall of flames. We could feel the heat like inside our house, it was crazy.”
She said her dad’s work truck was parked near the fire and it was so hot, his tail lights melted.
Alastir Hull who also lives nearby said the flames were, “probably up to 40 or 50 feet” in the air.
“It was two homes that were under construction, they had finished framing and had finished roofing so there was no electrical or gas in there but it was basically a massive camp fire.”
He said his biggest concern was for the safety of his fellow neighbours, many of whom came outside in the early hours of the morning to watch what was going on.
“These are under construction so we know no one’s inside or no one should be inside them,” said Hull, “it was concerning because that’s the biggest thing that’s happened out here for a long time.”
A nearby power pole was also damaged in the fire, which is what caused the power outage, said Coulson, who spoke to CTV News Vancouver by phone from the scene.
“There was a wooden pole immediately adjacent to the construction area, so it was impacted by the fire and damaged severely, so (BC Hydro crews) have to actually bring that pole down,” he said, as a chainsaw roared in the background.
“They're working on that right now and, and bringing that pole down and putting a new one in its place.”
According to BC Hydro, 126 customers were affected by the outage which began at 3 a.m. By noon, the company said it expected power to be restored by 5 p.m. BC Hydro told CTV News that the fire also damaged some underground wires which is what caused the outage to those homes.
Photos from the scene show firefighters fighting back high flames and thick heavy smoke billowing from the homes.
When CTV News spoke to Coulson midday, the fire was still ongoing, with crews on scene putting out hotspots.
The cause of the fire will be investigated once the fire is fully out, Coulson said, however the extent of the damage may make it difficult to find an answer. Fire officials have not yet involved the Port Moody police, and would only do so if they deem it suspicious.
“We would invite police to take part in an investigation once we determined that the fire may be incendiary in nature or a set fire, but we're not at that point yet,” he said.