Two longtime Beaver Creek residents are safe, but have lost their home after a fire roared through the building on Friday, July 14, 2017. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Fire destroys home in Beaver Creek

Longtime Alberni Valley residents manage to escape in time

A home is gone, but two people are safe tonight after a house on Gordon Avenue in Beaver Creek caught fire.

“One house was fully involved when we arrived,” Beaver Creek Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief Charlie Starratt said at the scene.

Two people were in the house at the time but escaped in time, he added.

The fire also drew firefighters from Sproat Lake and Port Alberni fire departments.

A helicopter from the BC Forest Service was dispatched from the Alberni Valley Regional Airport with a “bambi” bucket of water, but did not make a drop, said Beaver Creek Fire Chief Charlie Starratt.

“A helicopter did a fly-over, looked around and could see (the fire) wasn’t going anywhere, so we relieved them from the scene,” Starratt said.

The fire did scorch surrounding trees and at one point crews wondered if flames would spread to a neighbouring house, but they were able to douse the flames before they spread.

Starratt said he expected the crew would be there for a few more hours to mop up and watch for hot spots.

“We’ll be here for a while,” he said.

This was the second serious fire call on an extreme fire hazard day. Port Alberni Deputy Chief Wes Patterson said crews were called to a brush fire in Rogers Creek Park at 10th Avenue during the lunch hour on Friday.

“You could see the smoke from downtown at the fire hall when we left,” Patterson said. The fire, approximately 20 by 30 metres, had potential to spread into something more significant, he added.

Although the source of the Rogers Creek Park fire hasn’t been confirmed, “it appears to have started from a discarded cigarette,” Patterson said.

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Firefighters from Beaver Creek, Sproat Lake and Port Alberni fire departments battle a house fire on Gordon Avenue, Friday night July 14, 2017). SUSAN QUINN PHOTO