A family of six managed to escape uninjured Friday morning after a fire tore through their home in the southwest Calgary community of Mahogany.
The fire broke out in the basement shortly before 4 a.m. and eventually spread to the main floor of the home. Calgary fire crews were temporarily forced to pull back from the home for safety.
Fire officials said the family, including four children under the age of eight, were sleeping at the time, but credited working smoke alarms with their safe evacuation.
“The occupants told me that if those smoke alarms had not been working or woken them up, it might have been a completely different story,” Calgary Fire Department spokesperson Carol Henke said.
Firefighters were able to get the fire under control by 7 a.m. but not before it destroyed the home.
“Eight houses surrounding the incident home were evacuated and residents were sheltered in Calgary Transit buses,” fire officials said in a release. “Neighbouring homes were protected using exposure nozzles to limit fire and heat damage.”
No injuries were reported, however, a cat, which went missing when the fire started, has not been found.
“We did not find the cat. And unfortunately, with this type of scenario, it’s not likely that the cat would have survived that heat and that smoke,” Henke said.
The damage to the home is extensive, so the family will not be returning anytime soon. In the meantime, they are staying with friends down the street.
With files from Doug Vaessen and Lisa MacGregor