Her face stained with soot and tears, the young woman embraced her cat which she had just rescued from the burning home.
Everyone was safe, but the woman could do little as she stood across the street and watched as the two-storey home at 759 Gemsbok Drive filled with smoke.
According to Fire Chief Ian Baikie, a burning candle in a downstairs room is believed to be the cause of Wednesday’s blaze that started around 3:45 p.m. and caused more than $30,000 in damage.
“Crews extinguished the fire, and managed to confine the fire damage to a single room, but smoke and heat damage was extensive to the entire home,” said Baikie.
Deputy Fire Chief Chris Vrabel was first on scene, arriving within minutes of the 911 call, and made sure the woman was okay and no one else was in the home.
The pumper truck crew arrived a few minutes later, having just left another call to assist with a fallen worker at a downtown job site.
Firefighters used “positive pressure ventilation” to clear the home of the heavy smoke as the first members entered to douse the flames.
The fire was quickly brought under control, but due to the damages, the home will be unusable for some time.
The woman and the cat, who suffered some smoke inhalation, were checked out by a BC Ambulance attendant and she was later taken to Campbell River Hospital to be further examined.