Fire officials suspect sparks from a fireplace which then set a shake roof on fire were to blame for a home being destroyed in 150 Mile House Thursday afternoon.
150 Mile House fire chief Stan McCarthy said they received the call for help just before 3 p.m. to attend a structure fire in the 3000 block of Exton Way.
“We got there in six minutes and the house was already burning really fast,” McCarthy said Friday.
The beautiful 26-year-old log home, nestled in its own wooded property, belonged to a retired couple. The wife was home when the fire started.
“It was chilly so she lit a fire in the fireplace,” McCarthy said.
Sparks flew out from the chimney onto the roof and in less than a few minutes the roof was burning completely.
The roof then fell in, engulfing the home in flames.
“We didn’t have a hope in hell of saving the house,” McCarthy said, noting the basement was saved, although it suffered severe water damage.
Soon after the fire department’s arrival, Miocene and Williams Lake fire departments were called in for assistance.
BC Hydro, Fortis and BC Ambulance also attended, followed by a Cariboo Fire Centre crew who checked the surrounding forest for any possible fire dangers.
McCarthy said fire fighters remained on scene mopping up until around 8 p.m.
The homeowners do have fire insurance, but have suffered a great loss, he said, adding he put them in touch with emergency services and they were booked into a hotel overnight.
It was the first structure fire of 2014 in 150 Mile House, McCarthy said.
“There have been wildfires, but not structures burnt until now.”