Passersby help rescue occupants of home as fire breaks out in Courtenay

Coffee run turns into fire rescue for pair of men

Two passersby helped rescue a couple from a house fire at 833-26 st. in Courtenay, after a blaze broke out at the house’s garage at approximately 9 p.m. Saturday night.

The two men came upon the fire as they were heading out for a coffee, and assisted in getting the people out of the house.

“We were just out on a coffee run. We came down the road, saw a bunch of smoke coming out of the house, called 911 right away,” said Dave Sprout. “We hopped out of the truck and ran up to the house to assist. My friend … ran into the house, grabbed the lady and the cat, and I grabbed the [garden hose] hose and tried to fight the fire in the carport.”

Sprout’s colleague Dale Audley was the person who ushered the residents out of the house.

“He [the homeowner] was fumbling to get the front door unlocked … he said ‘my wife is in there’ so I asked permission to go in and get his wife… he said ‘yeah, go ahead,’ ” explained Audley. “I went running in, got his wife, shooed her out the door and asked if there was anyone else in there.

“She said there were two cats on the balcony. So I went running back into the house, got one cat out, and I think the other jumped off the balcony.”

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said a fallen power line added to the challenges facing firefighters upon their arrival, though they were still able to put out the fire within three minutes.

“Power line fell down about 30 seconds after we arrived, which made it a little difficult to approach the fire, to begin with,” he said, adding that although there was an ambulance on scene, there were no injuries to report.

“The ambulance was dispatched automatically on a structure fire,” he said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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Firefighters inspect the damage to a home in Courtenay following a Saturday evening fire. Photo by Scott Strasser

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