NO one was hurt, but an older British Properties home was heavily damaged by fire Saturday afternoon.
West Vancouver Fire and Rescue crews raced to the home in the 1100-block of Eyremount Drive after someone called 9-1-1 reporting smoke coming from the home's attic just after 1:30 p.m. "They attacked the fire very quickly but right at that point, the fire flashed. Everything around on that same floor got hot enough at the same time that it literally burst into flames. We had a major flashover situation, which made the fire very large, very quickly," said fire chief Martin Ernst.
Flashovers tend to occur when the temperature of the blaze hits 650 degrees centigrade and gasses seep out of furniture and construction materials and ignite.
"They very quickly were able to knock down the actual flames in the house but the fire was very deep seated and stubborn. It was embedded in the floorspace," Ernst said.
Thankfully, the family who lives in the home was away and their tenant was out
for lunch at the time, Ernst added.
Ernst said investigators would be back on the scene first thing Tuesday morning to sift through the remains, adding that electrical wiring in the early 1970s home will be a key area to check.
"That's getting to be a fairly old house at this point.. .. Forty per cent of fires are electrical these days, just due to aging houses or electrical work that's not been done to code by people who don't know what they're doing," he said. "We'll be tracing every wire back to its source. We'll be looking at everything and seeing if we can keep it as an active theory or rule it out."
As for whether the home is a complete write-off, that will be up to the owner and insurer, Ernst said.
"I'd call it major damage, throughout the house. The kitchen, living room and dining area are 90 per cent damaged and the rest of the home received a lot of smoke damage," he said.
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