Fire investigators have been sifting through the badly burned Langley City home where a 64-year-old woman died along with her dog and cat on Sunday night.
Around 9 p.m., City fire crews were called to a home in the 20300 block of Grade Crescent, beside H.D. Stafford Middle school.
Heavy smoke was coming through the attic when firefighters arrived to battle the blaze, said City deputy fire chief Bob Scott.
“The first crew saw a large volume of fire inside the residence so we were forced to go into defensive mode and knock down the fire from the outside to get to the point where we could enter the inside,” said Scott.
The fire was at the back of the house, said Scott.
In total, 20 firefighters attacked the fire for three hours.
“At that point we weren’t sure anyone was inside,” said Scott. Once the fire was under control, firefighters were only able to do a limited search of the structure because of the instability of the roof caving in. But in that process, they discovered the victim and her family pets, said Scott.
Langley RCMP are also investigating.
So far, the cause of the fire isn’t known, but initially it doesn’t look suspicious, he said.
The victim and her husband lived in the home with their pets. The victim’s husband wasn’t home at the time of the fire, said Scott. It’s not known whether smoke alarms were working or used. Firefighters noted they couldn’t hear any going off when they arrived.
“They really do save lives. I can’t stress that enough,” said Scott. The house suffered “very extensive damage” and may have to be torn down.
This is the second fatal fire in Langley in two weeks.
A fire ripped through a four-plex on Old Yale Road on Nov. 28, killing an elderly woman inside one of the units where the fire started.
Her partner lived in the neighbouring unit and was rushed to hospital in serious condition.
He has since been released from hospital. A man and his son lived in another unit and they are now homeless.
That fire was either caused by a space heater or a power bar failure.