PHOTOS: Bystander alerts Saanich residents of house fire

Firefighters douse hotspots inside a home that went up in flames on Thursday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Emergency crews are working to extinguish a fire in the 500-block of Walter Avenue. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
A Saanich firefighter cools down after being inside a home that went up in flames on Thursday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)
Firefighters stand on a collapsed roof of a home that went up in flames on Thursday. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Emergency crews extinguished a blaze in the 500-block of Walter Avenue Thursday afternoon.

The fire started around 11:50 p.m. Two people were in the home but were able to escape the fire, partly thanks to bystander Cindy Ihlen, who was walking by the home with her son when she saw smoke rising from the house.

She saw a man on the phone with 9-1-1 dispatchers and asked if he had checked for anyone inside the home. When he said no, Ihlen took matters into her own hands.

“I ran down and they have a big knocker so I started knocking on the door…I started yelling, ‘there’s a fire, get out, get out!’” she recalled. “My knees are still shaking.”

READ ALSO: No one injured in Saanich townhouse fire

Two men left the home, seemingly unaware that the structure was on fire, Ihlen said.

“I didn’t think it was our house,” said homeowner Rick Hyland. “I thought it was the neighbours.”

Shortly after they evacuated, the fire grew huge, Ihlen said, with flames burning holes in the ceiling and pushing their way out of the side of the home.

“It was absolutely shocking how fast it went up from there.”

Assistant Deputy Chief Rob Heppell with the Saanich Fire Department called the blaze “significant” and said that upon arrival crews were met with heavy smoke and flames coming from the home. He added that inside the home there was a “good fuel load” from the contents of the home.

Saanich Fire Department responded with three engines, a ladder apparatus and a rescue truck. An investigation will be done to determine the cause of the fire.


 

Do you have a story tip? Email: vnc.editorial@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Breaking News

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sidney part of a region that suffers ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

Consultants find that Sidney needs 233 new spaces to meet the current demand for daycare

HMCS Victoria popping up as training sessions underway

MARPAC says plume of smoke normal for recharging submarine

Friday night tickets affect Saturday behaviour at the University of Victoria

Saanich police see direct response after issuing several $230 fines

Thieves harvest from 11 unlocked cars in Oak bay

Looting unlocked cars called ‘farming,’ says deputy chief

West Shore RCMP seeks video footage after homeowner interrupts Colwood break and enter

Police were called to 600-block of Stornoway Drive late Sunday

COVID-19: 4 more deaths, 366 new cases in B.C. since Friday

A total of 8,208 people in B.C. have tested positive for COVID-19 since January

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Group wants Parliament, courts to hold social media to same standard as publishers

Daniel Bernhard made the comments shortly after Friends of Canadian Broadcasting released a research paper

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

COVID-19 liquor, music rules extended with fines

‘Nightclubs must cease operating as nightclubs’

Carole James heads ‘caretaker’ B.C. government

James is among 15 MLAs retiring at the end of their current term

B.C.’s Chase Claypool catches first NFL touchdown pass

Abbotsford grad establishes new record for longest scrimmage TD by a Canadian

Most Read