One person is in hospital after a structure fire broke out at a residence in the Nechako neighbourhood of Kitimat Monday (Dec. 14) evening.
Fire Chief Trent Bossence said that Kitimat Fire and Ambulance were called to a fire at a residence on Mallard St. around 4 p.m. Monday. As the dispatcher was getting more information, he said they were informed that a single person was still inside the home, as well.
Bossence said crews went inside and were able to locate the person, who was quickly brought to an ambulance and transported to hospital. He added that the resident was “definitely in serious condition when we found [them].”
The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, but Bossence said the investigation is beginning today and they hope to have more information as the day progresses.
“The initial assessment, in this case, is that the fire started in the basement area of the home and then it spread up through an interior wall to the second floor,” he said.
“We did manage to contain it to the place of origin, we call it — so where it initially started in the home,” Bossence said. “It did climb up into the wall and get into the second floor, but there’s minimal fire damage up there.”
He said that there was also significant water damage in the basement, as a water pipe broke during the fire and had let out quite a bit of water before the water main could be turned off.
Bossence said the house where the fire occurred is a duplex, and the residents of the second unit were found and evacuated safely.
“We worked hard to try to minimize the damage to that second unit, the one where the fire wasn’t — or didn’t start — but, you know, with smoke it’s sometimes difficult to contain it where you want to,” he said. “But, for the most part, [the crews] did. They contained the fire quickly and we did use some techniques to try to minimize the damage to both units ”
Bossence said that crews were on scene dealing with the fire for about four hours, and several firefighters remained on scene afterward to make sure nothing reignited. He said having a few firefighters stay on ‘fire watch’ afterwards is a typical practice, but that it was a little different in this case as the fire was inside an interior wall, which makes it more difficult to know that it’s fully out without actually tearing the wall apart.
Bossence said they are not deeming the fire suspicious in any way at this time, but they will be doing a thorough investigation into what happened, especially given the serious injuries involved.