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One home destroyed, two homes saved after early morning fire in Sechelt

Two neighbouring homes were 'seconds away from igniting,' Sechelt Fire Chief Trevor Pike told Coast Reporter
Remains of a Selma Park area home destroyed by fire Nov. 7

An early morning house fire in Selma Park is being characterized as "Our biggest structural fire of 2022 so far” by Sechelt Fire Chief Trevor Pike.

While “high value property loss” was incurred at the residence in the 5100 block of Pam Road, no injuries were sustained by the lone male occupant of the home, residents of adjacent homes threatened by the blaze or firefighters. 

The Sechelt Fire Department (SFD) was paged to respond to the fire at 4:45 a.m., Pike told Coast Reporter. The first SFD vehicle arrived on scene a 4:54 a.m. to find one building completely engulfed in flames.

That home is a complete loss, according to Pike. Also destroyed were two of the homeowner’s motor vehicles that were on site.

Neighbouring homes saved

The SFD sent two engines, its ladder tower truck and two command units accompanied by 23 personnel to battle the blaze and protect the neighbouring residential structures on either side. It also requested mutual aid from the neighbouring volunteer fire departments in Halfmoon Bay and Roberts Creek. Each sent one engine and four firefighters to the scene.

Those two homes were saved by the fire suppression efforts.

“Those homes were very close to going up. They were seconds away from igniting, so it’s a good thing we got there in a timely fashion,” said Pike. He reported that residents living to the east, two adults and an infant, were evacuated from their home while the fire was being fought and have since been returned. Those residing in the home to the west were not evacuated, as Pike explained firefighters were able “to protect and shelter those people in place even though there was some damage to the siding of their home.”

Cause remains undetermined

Crews remained at the site for about three hours. After equipment and personnel returned to the departments’ fire halls, SFD sent one engine back to the site to put out “hot spots” and to assist with the investigation of the fire’s cause, which remains undetermined. 

“The severity of the damage is extreme and it is going to take us two to three days to dig in and find out exactly what caused the fire. We may not ever find out the cause because there is so much damage,” stated Pike.

911 called by a neighbour

The Fire Chief said it is believed the fire was reported by a neighbour and that the homeowner also called 911 after he had self-evacuated from the property.

An area resident, Michelle Sikora, reported hearing “loud bangs” from the vicinity of the site just after 4:30 a.m., followed by a “blue flash then fire; everything was glowing."