British Columbia

Surrey firefighters battle blaze at abandoned home

A neighbour armed with a garden hose battled the fire before fire crews arrived and extinguished the blaze near 108 Avenue and 142a Street early Thursday morning.

Neighbour Konstantin Nikolaou says he tried fighting the fire with a garden hose

Flames engulf the abandoned home on 108 Avenue in Surrey early Thursday morning. (Submitted by onstantin Nikolaou)

Firefighters in Surrey fought off a large blaze at an abandoned house early Thursday morning.

Crews were called to the house near 108 Avenue and 142a Street just after 1 a.m. PT, when a neighbour reported the house was fully engulfed in flames.

Konstantin Nikolaou lives right next to the house and was watching television when he heard an explosion.

If anyone's ever used a garden hose against a fire that's about six metres high … you know it doesn't do much.- Konstantin Nikolaou

He says he rushed his family and neighbours out of their home after he saw the fire next door growing in size.

"Whenever you see flames like that within about four metres from your home, your adrenaline kicks in … 'cause I know mine did," he said.

Konstantin Nikolaou says he's impressed that his wife immediately grabbed a hard drive with family memories stored on it when he rushed them out of the house. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)

Firefighting with a garden hose

Nikolaou tried to fight the flames with a garden hose while calling the fire department at the same time. He said he was concerned the fire might spread to his house.

"We grabbed the garden hose and tried to keep it back as much as possible," he said.

"If anyone's ever used a garden hose against a fire that's about six metres high … you know it doesn't do much."

Firefighters were able to to contain the blaze in under an hour, although Nikolaou's house does have some damage on the outside.

Surrey Battalion Chief Brian Carmichael said the fire appears to be suspicious.

Smoke from the fire filled the neighbourhood around 108 Avenue and 142a Street. (Gian-Paolo Mendoza/CBC)