TWO West Vancouver seniors have been left homeless after fire tore through their longtime Eagle Harbour residence Thursday evening.
The pair were at home in the 5700-block of Bluebell Drive at about 8 p.m. when flames apparently broke out in a basement wall. The fire quickly spread upward through the two-storey post-and-beam structure. The victims had time to collect their dog and escape the house with the help of a neighbour before the space filled with smoke.
West Vancouver firefighters arrived minutes later and set to dousing the growing blaze, but it was an hour before it was fully under control.
"This was an extremely stubborn fire," said assistant fire chief Martin Ernst. "It was lodged inside one of the walls. . . . It was very deep-seated in the basement level."
By the time the fire was out, the inside of the building had been all but destroyed, Ernst said. "The interior of the home is unusable. There's not too much to salvage."
It remains to be seen whether the home will have to be torn down, he said.
The occupants, who had lived at the residence for as long as 40 years, according to firefighters, were put into the care of West Vancouver police victim services and the North Shore Emergency Management Office.
The fire is under investigation, said Ernst, but early indications suggest it was not suspicious and caused by an electrical problem, possibly related to the changing of a fuse.
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