Two fires on Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 cause major damage

Both fires electrical in origin; smoke alarms not working in both homes

Three residents of a manufactured home on Fraser Highway were lucky to escape with their lives in an early-morning fire on Christmas Day.

Langley Township assistant fire chief Pat Walker said the fire was reported at about 7 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 25. A family member awoke and heard a crackling noise, and quickly alerted her sleeping parents. The home, located in the 24100 block, was completely destroyed.

Walker said that the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, possibly due to an overloaded circuit related to a Christmas tree. The occupants were lucky to escape unharmed, he said, as the smoke alarm was  not functioning, and “there easily could have been fatalities.”

The smoke alarm was not working at another fire the next day (Friday) in the 24900 block of 40 Avenue. The fire broke out in the basement, and Walker said it was caused by an overloaded power bar. Damage to the basement area was extensive, but no one was injured, and all occupants were able to escape. The fire was reported about 11:30 a.m.

A tanker truck relay system was set up to haul water to the site, as there are no hydrants in the area. That enabled fire crews to quickly get the fire under control.

Walker said fire crews were very concerned to discover that smoke alarms were not working at both homes, as they are an inexpensive way to alert residents to fires. They can be lifesavers, particularly if a fire breaks out when people are asleep.

He also pointed put the importance of not overloading electric circuits, which is commonly done at this time of year. Overloaded circuits can lead to major consequences and extensive costs, he noted.

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