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Photos: Early-morning blaze destroys a Queensborough home

Fire destroys a New West house – but all of the residents (and cats and a turtle) made it out safe and sound.

Several Queensborough residents – as well as a turtle and cats – made it out of a burning home that was destroyed by fire early Tuesday morning.

At 6:37 a.m. on Feb. 27, New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services received a call a single-family home in the 300 block of McGillivray Place.

Acting assistant chief Gord Denhoed said crews from the Number 3 hall in Queensborough arrived at the scene within a couple of minutes of receiving the call.

“There was heavy fire and smoke coming from the back of the structure when crews arrived on scene,” he said.

“There were initial reports that there was possibly someone inside the structure, but upon an initial search of the structure, it was determined there were no occupants left inside.”

Denhoed said the house was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the house, but they had it knocked down in under 20 minutes.

“It was a very stubborn fire. It was well seeded into the structure, and we had to do our best to protect the fire from spreading to the adjacent houses,” he said. “There was minimal damage to one of the houses beside it but we were able to contain the fire just to a single house.”

Photos and videos posted to social media show the house engulfed in flames and clouds of smoke billowing into the morning sky.

“There is significant damage to the structure,” Denhoed said. “It is not able to be inhabited at all.”

No civilians or firefighters were injured in the fire, Denhoed said.

Denhoed saw an orange cat leaving the house. A turtle was rescued from the home.

“We went in and got a turtle out," he said. "That was after the fire was knocked down; we were able to locate the turtle.”

According to Denhoed, about 20 firefighters were dispatched to the fire over the course of the incident.

“I think the crews did a really good job at stopping the fire from spreading to any adjacent house, and being aggressive to ensure that no one was left inside the house upon our arrival,” he said.

As of 11:30 a.m., New Westminster Fire and Rescue Services’ fire suppression crews and fire investigators remained at the scene.

“No cause has been determined at this point,” Denhoed said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Several people have been displaced from their homes because of the fire.

New Westminster Emergency Support Services provides short-term services (usually up to 72 hours) to evacuees in emergency situations.

Busy morning

The Queensborough fire was one of two fire calls that kept New West firefighters busy on Tuesday morning.

Prior to the 6:37 a.m. call to Queensborough, New West fire crews were called to a highrise on Quayside Drive at 5:37 a.m. More to come.