All that’s left of Al Earl’s home. (Photo Gerry Leibel)

Saved by his dog, rescued by the kindness of Kitimatians

Al Earl loses everything in a house fire

Al Earl believes that if it hadn’t been for his faithful four-legged friend Tank the outcome of a house fire on Thursday night would have been very different.

Earl said when Tank woke him up the house he is renting was well on fire, thick smoke billowing into the room he was sleeping in.

With no time to grab anything other than Tank, Earl escaped from the house and ran barefoot to a neighbour’s house to call 911.

Even though the Kitimat Fire Department was on scene within minutes, the fire, which Earl said started in a spare room, had already engulfed the home.

The Fire Department was on scene on Friday, making sure any hotspots were extinguished.

A traumatized and exhausted Earl, speaking from his neighbour’s home, said he was amazed at the outpouring of support from close friends, neighbours and ordinary citizens, which had softened the blow of losing everything he owned in the fire.

He said he is incredibly lucky that he and Tank got out unharmed and wanted to thank everyone that has jumped in to help, adding that he already has three pairs of new shoes and more clothes than he had before the fire.

Kitimat Fire Department deputy chief for prevention, Pete Bizarro, said the cause of the fire won’t be known until an investigation has been completed.

He did, however, appeal to residents to ensure that as the mercury drops that they take care when heating their homes, whether by a furnace, fireplace or stand-alone heaters.

Technical Safety BC has provided handy hints for safely heating your home:

Portable electric heaters

* Portable electric heaters should be in good condition. Do not use heaters with damage to their cord or casing.

* Ensure your portable heater is placed in an area with clear space. Keep it three meters away from combustibles such as curtains, bedding, newspapers or laundry.

* Don’t use an extension cord.

* Keep the heater away from any water source.

Boilers

* Check that all ventilation and combustion air openings and louvres are clean and free of debris.

* Verify boiler water level and ensure all stack dampers are open before operation.

* Check the furnace and flue passes for fuel accumulation, and ensure manual fuel valves are open.

Gas appliances

* Have gas-fired appliances inspected and serviced by a licensed gas contractor at least once per year. This includes boilers, furnaces, hot water tanks, stoves, dryers and fireplaces.

* Remember to follow the equipment’s certified user guide or manual.

Fireplaces

* Open a window (even if just a crack) when using a wood-burning fireplace to allow fresh air flow into the room.

* Ensure that carbon monoxide and fire detectors are up-to-date and functioning.

Email the newsroom

Visit our Facebook page

Follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Snowfall warning continues for parts of B.C.’s Interior

First significant snowfall of the season prompts Environment Canada warning

Here are the top earners at Coast Mountains School District

Audited financial report released for 2018/2019 fiscal year

Northwest B.C. wildlife shelter rescues particularly tiny bear cub

Shelter co-founder says the cub weighs less than a third of what it should at this time of year

Gitga’at and LNG Canada announce new Marine Emergency Response and Research Facility in Hartley Bay

LNG Canada providing financial support as committed in 2014 Impact Mitigation and Benefit Agreement

Former Burns Lake mayor gets two years for sexual assaults against minors

Banned from taking work involving young people for five years

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Campbell River mom’s iPhone containing priceless photos stolen from Victoria hospital parkade

The phone contained photos, heartbeat recordings of her late son

Miller nets winner as Canucks edge Sabres 6-5 in OT

Roussel, Leivo tally two apiece for Vancouver

‘Norovirus-like’ outbreak interrupts Bantam hockey showcase in Greater Victoria

Several athletes were sent home, quarantined on the ferry

$578: that’s how much your first distracted driving ticket will cost with recent premium hikes

Over 50 per cent of Canadians admitted to using phone while driving last year, according to study

Kelowna man attempts to steal bait bike from RCMP parking lot

38-year-old Brian Richard Harbison is facing several charges

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

B.C. pharmaceutical company’s stocks double in value after successful lupus drug trial

More than 40 per cent of patients using voclosporin saw improvements in kidney function

Most Read