A working smoke alarm is credited with saving an elderly couple and one of their dogs from a rapidly-spreading fire that levelled the couple’s home in south Langley Monday morning.
Around 6:30 a.m., the smoke alarm started blaring inside the log home located in the 21300 block of 8 Avenue, waking the female homeowner, who alerted her husband. They managed to get outside to safety before flames and smoke engulfed the 1980s-built home, said Township assistant fire chief Monty Armstrong.
A neighbour freed the family dog from its outdoor run.
“At least one dog made it out safely,” said Armstrong, adding there may have been another in the home, but he wasn’t certain.
By the time Township fire crews arrived, they were up against a fire that had already engulfed the whole house.
The single-family dwelling was destroyed.
Neighbours said the blaze spread quickly, engulfing thehouse and sending a plume of smoke billowing high over the area.
At the height of the fire fight, at least eight units of the Township fire department were involved.
Because there were no fire hydrants in the rural neighbourhood, water had to be brought in by tanker truck from the nearest hydrants, one of which was located in the area of 24 Avenue and 208 Street.
There is nothing left of the home, so determining the fire’s cause is difficult, said Armstrong.
“We may never know the cause because of the significant damage,” he said. “We do know that it is not suspicious.”
Armstrong said in his 25 years as a firefighter, he’s still in awe of how effective smoke alarms are at saving lives.
“We are so fortunate that the smoke alarms were working in this home. If they hadn’t, I’m confident we would have been dealing with a tragedy because this fire ripped through the home so quickly,” he said.
“Test your batteries, continue to be vigilant,” he advised. “Teach young kids to recognize the sound of a smoke alarm. This is an example of how it saves lives.”