A family of six had to leap from a third floor balcony to escape a townhouse fire in Newton early Tuesday morning.
They were awoken by a smoke alarm, Surrey Battalion Chief Spiro Pegios said.
“The smoke alarm absolutely gave early alarm to the family to be able to at least address the situation. Unfortunately it was their front entrance that was impeded by the fire but they had another way of getting out, which was good in this situation for sure.”
Surrey firefighters were alerted at 2:55 a.m. to the blaze, at 14555 68th Ave.
Pegios said several units were involved.
“The family of six heard a smoke alarm and awoke to find fire on the outside of their house. They were unable to vacate the house through the front doors so they went to the back and went to the upstairs in the back of the unit and they jumped from the third floor balcony to the ground below,” he told the Now-Leader.
He said it was a slope, “so there was a hill, so it wasn’t quite as high as it needed to be. But still they had to jump from the balcony onto the ground.”
Pegios said neighbours helped them. “So they escaped. No injuries, maybe minor ankle injuries they were checked for, and they were also being checked for smoke inhalation.”
Surrey firefighters got the blaze under control “pretty quick,” he said, keeping most of the damage to the exterior of the building with “very minimal” damage to the inside.
“However, the homes are inhabitable,” Pegios noted. “There are two families that have been displaced, six from one and I think four from the other, including one large dog.”
Emergency Support Services is helping them, he said.
An investigator is examining the aftermath. “We don’t know how the fire started at this point in time.”
Pegios said he wasn’t privy to the ages of those who jumped. “A mother and a father and several children.”
On Monday morning, Surrey firefighters fought a fire at a two-storey commercial building in the 10600-block of King George Boulevard.
“Again, unknown at this point in time exactly what the cause is,” Pegios said.
It appears to have started in the common stairwell area landing of the building.
“But fire and smoke got into one of the businesses and when the crews got there, when they breached the door there was pretty good smoke and fire involvement and they extinguished it. We didn’t allow any spread.”
There were no injuries.