A family of three escaped a burning house “in the nick of time” Tuesday night after being alerted by their two barking dogs who fell victim to the fire, according to Parksville deputy fire chief Marc Norris.
Parksville Volunteer Fire Department (PVFD) firefighters were called to a home in the 400 block of Lowry’s Road in French Creek at 11:55 p.m. where they found a two-bedroom rancher ablaze.
“The building was about 85 per cent involved by the time we got there,” said Norris. “The structure was insured but I’m not sure about the contents.”
The cause of the fire is under investigation, but Norris said it does not appear to be suspicious.
“We suspect at this time the fire originated in the garage of the home,” said Norris.
“It was an older structure, built in the 60s… and inside the garage was not protected by drywall.”
Norris said it is believed the fire grew in size in the garage before spreading to the rest of the home.
“The garage is attached to the home and the door between the garage and the home may have been open so likely that’s how the fire spread,” he explained, noting three people were in the residence sleeping at the time.
“The fire was well developed… and they were asleep at the time. They were alerted by a pet barking. Basically they just got out in the nick of time. Unfortunately they did lose two dogs in the fire.”
Fifteen volunteer firefighters from PVFD attended the scene along with automatic aid from Qualicum Beach and Errington volunteer fire departments who supplied tender support as there are no hydrants in the rural neighbourhood.
Norris said firefighters were on scene for about four hours into early Wednesday morning.
“Unfortunately, they’ve lost everything.”
As of Saturday night, a Go Fund Me page created Jan. 28 called “Rebuilding a life” had raised $3,845 for the family.