Back to top

Pets credited with saving man in Castlegar house fire

A fire that completely gutted a house in the 1000 block of 7th Avenue last night may well have taken the homeowner's life as well, had it not been for the man's pets.

Fire chief Gerry Rempel said the homeowner was the only person in the house, and he was sleeping right through the smoke alarm when his dog jumped on him.

The man awoke to find both his dog and cat trying to get his attention, at which point he heard the alarm, smelled smoke and left the house, calling the fire department from a neighbour's place.

Both the homeowner and his pets escaped the fire unscathed.

The house itself, however, was completely destroyed, as were the two vehicles parked out front.

Rempel said the fire was called in at 3:12 a.m., and was fully involved by the time fire crews arrived, with flames shooting as high as 30 feet into the air.

"We called Ootischenia (fire department), and they came with seven men, which was a help," he said, explaining it was a challenge to keep the fire from spreading to a very nearby stand of trees.

The fire was largely extinguished by about 5 a.m., but fire crews were still putting out spot fires and hot embers when this photo was taken at roughly 9 a.m.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined, nor an estimate made of the dollar figure of damages resulting from the fire.