Surrey firefighters battled a two-alarm house fire in Fleetwood this afternoon that sent a man to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Assistant Fire Chief Ben Dirksen said firefighters were dispatched to the 8800-block of 160th Street at 1:37 p.m.
Smoke could be seen billowing out of the home’s windows.
“Crews arrived to find a two-storey home with heavy fire conditions on the first and second floors,” he said. “One man has been transported to hospital with smoke inhalation.”
A Black Press Media freelancer on the scene said according a bystander, a man was trapped in a second-floor bathroom and the bystander threw him a piece of wood from a fence so he could smash out the window and climb out. The man was dragged to the front of the house where he was later met by firefighters and paramedics.
Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko said a man “associated to the residence” had left the residence, came back and crashed a car into the back yard fence “and then ran through the scene again and was suffering from some type of mental health crisis. They were apprehended under the Mental Health Act.
“During their apprehension, the person was highly agitated, was spitting, and fighting with police,” Sturko said. “And then during our officers’ struggle with the individual to get them into control to take them to the hospital, and person from the crowd – not associated to the house or the fire – was attempting to sort-of intervene, and get into the police’s faces and videotaping and they took exception to our work that our members were doing and that person was subsequently arrested for obstructing a peace officer.”
Jillian Nickerson shared with the Now-Leader on Facebook what she saw.
“This was so frightening to see in person,” she posted. “We were driving southbound on 160 St, after passing 90 Ave, I saw a large white cloud of smoke. As we got closer, saw a lot of black smoke and it was just billowing out of the top floor. But the worst was that in that small window you see in this photo, there was a young man’s head barely visible through the black smoke, his arm holding the window open.
“We pulled saw 2 cars pull over ahead of us, but they left, so we pulled over. I imagined the fire truck must be on the other side of the house because I thought that for a fire to reach this magnitude it must have been burning for a while. By the time I ran to the window where I saw the man, a few other people had gathered. Two men were trying to throw a 2×4 up to the victim, but the victim couldn’t reach it. By about the 7th try, miraculously he managed to press a couple of fingers against the wood to press it against the side of the house, and it didn’t drop while he was inching it slowly up.”
The fire’s cause is under investigation.