Fire destoyed this 20 Avenue Langley home on Wednesday morning. The occupants, including the family dog, escaped unharmed thanks to the actions of a quick-thinking 16-yaer-old.

‘It’s amazing no one perished,’ says assistant fire chief

The quick actions of a 16-year-old boy helped save his little brother from an intense fire Wednesday.

A 16-year-old Langley boy is being credited for doing all the right things and saving the life of his little brother, after a fire quickly erupted at their South Langley home on Wednesday morning.

“It’s amazing no one perished in this fire,” said Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker, about the blaze in the 20600 block of 20 Avenue.

Around 11 a.m., two teen boys, ages 16 and 14, were still sound asleep on a lazy summer day, when the eldest woke to the smoke alarm going off. He looked around and peeked outside and saw smoke and flames crawling up the side of the house.

He quickly grabbed his sleeping brother and both of them ran outside in the clothes they slept in.

The 14-year-old had not heard the alarm at all, said Walker.

At that same time, the tenant downstairs also heard the smoke alarm and saw the silhouette of fire at her door.

“She said she grabbed her cellphone and purse and by the time she was running out, the flames were right behind her,” said Walker.

Neighbours had just come back from a run when they saw smoke and heard popping sounds coming from the house. They went over to see the teens and tenant were safely out of the fire that had quickly overtaken the two-storey cedar siding house.

“When we arrived the fire was so intense,” said Walker. “We had a terrible time battling this fire.”

The house is a total loss. The fire started in the outside carport but because of the intensity of the fire, it will be hard to find its starting point, he said.

It’s unlikely to be suspicious, Walker said. Even the family dog got out safely.

Having a fire escape plan is key but having all the smoke alarms wired to go off is also important, given the various places people can be in a house.

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