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All hands on deck for Whistler firefighters as massive fire forces neighbours to evacuate

Huge fire causes evacuation

Whistler fire crews were busy on Friday night after a large fire at an under-construction building started and quickly grew.

Whistler Fire Rescue Service Chief John McKearney told CTV News that firefighters responded to a call for the home at Sunridge Drive around 11:30 p.m., which looked drastic from a distance.

One video was posted to Twitter by a witness, capturing the thick orange flames in the distance and heavy smoke filling up the sky.

"The captain registered right away that this looked like multiple houses on fire and called for a full complement of career and paid on-call (firefighters), which was the right move," McKearney told CTV News Vancouver. "Having gotten up there, what looked like it was multiple houses was one large structure that was completely timbers and two-by-fours and had no protection on it."

The building had been stripped "down to the studs," according to McKearney since it was undergoing major renovations at the time. The bare base made it "kindling" once the fire started.

Thirty-seven crew members arrived on the scene to find the home fully engulfed in flames.

"The people that were in that house (next door) were evacuated and they left for a period of time, but there was no damage to that house due to the protection lines that were set up," McKearney added.

Firefighters were keeping their focus on preventing the flames from spreading to another nearby home, moving their defensive attack on the west side of the building.

There were also propane tanks left inside the engulfed building by contractors that fire crews were aware of and some of the tanks ended up exploding during the blaze.

No injuries were reported as a result of the fire and no one was inside the building at the time.

So far, no evidence has been found to suggest the blaze is suspicious and the cause of the fire is still under investigation, according to McKearney.

"We do see that the majority of the heat was in what would be considered the southwest corner of the house, so we're just trying to ascertain just what was going on there," he said.

– with files from CTV Vancouver



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