Emergency crews responded to a structure fire in west Maple Ridge, Tuesday morning. THE NEWS/files

Update: Winnie the pup wakes family to flames

Fire breaks out in west Maple Ridge early Tuesday

If it wasn’t for Winnie, the fire could have been worse. But thanks to the frantic barking of the one-and-a-half-year-old dog, Farron Vaughan and Tracey Garnett were able to call for help when fire broke out on their lot at 203rd Street, early Tuesday.

“They were here within nine minutes of me calling,” Garnett said of the fire department.

Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Services were first on scene, as the address on the west side of 203rd Street, is located in Pitt Meadows. Maple Ridge Fire and Rescue also responded.

“It got going fast,” said Pitt Meadows fire chief Mike Larsson. Downed powerlines required firefighters to enter from the north side of the property, along Golden Ears Way. Firefighters also had to lay a hose across the road to connect to a hydrant on the north side of the road, requiring the closure of the road for about 90 minutes.

Larsson said there were no injuries, but when they first arrived, they didn’t know if there was anybody inside the mobile home. But the tenant soon showed up.

The couple are living in a house at 203rd Street and Golden Ears Way and renting out a small mobile home on the same lot to a single female tenant. Sometime around 4 a.m., a fire started in the area next to the mobile home, then quickly engulfed the vehicle.

Vaughan ran across the yard and banged on the side, but there was no answer. A neighbour then checked on the tenant’s whereabouts and learned she was staying somewhere else. Vaughan also grabbed a couple of fire extinguishers to try to put out the blaze.

Garnett said the tenant had no renter’s insurance and has lost everything she owns. While only charred rubble remains of the trailer, Garnett said the tenant is looking to recover her father’s ashes which had been stored inside. Cause of the fire hasn’t yet been determined.

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