It was 3:50 a.m. when the Gibsons & District Volunteer Fire Department got the call: a house on Hough Road was engulfed in flames.
Eighteen of the station's firefighters set out to the scene, and called on the Roberts Creek Volunteer Fire Department to join with an engine and five more crew members. When they arrived, the fire was categorically "fully involved," Gibsons Fire Chief Rob Michael told Coast Reporter.
Despite the quick response, the home was destroyed. By the end of the five-hour effort from firefighters, only some of the exterior walls and the chimney remained upright.
The renters of the property moved out at the end of November, so no one was home at the time. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Michael said he expects his investigator to be on scene for most of Dec. 8, "but the extensive damage is going to make it very difficult to determine the cause."
"Fire departments are generally called out less frequently in the middle of the night, but often those types of incidents will be more severe just because they're not noted by public as early," Michael said. "If this were to happen in the middle of the day, it wouldn't have gotten to the point that it did."
Because the home was on a large acreage, Michael said other structures were not at risk of catching fire. He commented on the good FireSmart principals at the site, as no combustibles were near the building.