British Columbia

Fire engulfs 3 properties on residential Port Coquitlam street

A resident of Fraser Avenue, on the city’s north side, said a construction site and two homes were engulfed sometime before 7 a.m. PT.

Fire involved 2 homes and a construction site on city's north side, neighbour says

A resident of Fraser Avenue in Port Coquitlam said the fire involved two homes and a construction site. (Bill Cook)

A fire burned through three buildings and dealt minor damage to two others on a residential street in Port Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday morning.

Max Katzeff, a resident of Fraser Avenue, said a construction site and the two adjacent homes were engulfed across the street from him on the city's north side.

Katzeff said he was lying in bed when he heard screams. 

As he walked downstairs and looked at the front door, he could see red from the flames glowing through the curtains. 

When he looked outside, he saw what appeared to be a fire that had started at the construction site and spread to the two homes beside it. 

"The firefighters were already going at 'er," he said. 

"I was definitely worried. I decided to stick around until the firefighters have it under control."

Katzeff said the flames were burning about one to two meters higher than the construction site, which is bigger than the two homes. 

Fire crews, police investigating

Port Coquitlam fire chief Nick Delmonico says his crews were first called to the scene at 5:45 a.m. PT.

He says there were no fatalities or injuries in any of the homes. Residents of the evacuated houses are receiving emergency social services.

"Fortunately, everyone seems to have gotten out," he said. "We've still got an issue with gas. There was a number of explosions when we first got on the scene, which was ... scary and dangerous."

Gas crews had to dig up part of the road to shut the gas off, Delmonico said, and crews also had power shut off to the entire street for several hours after the flames were extinguished.

He says it's not clear how the fire started but an investigator is on scene.

RCMP Cpl. Michael McLaughlin says police are joining the investigation to determine whether or not the fire was suspicious.

With files from Brenna Rose and Jodi Muzylowski