Fire crews were still on the scene of a large Port Coquitlam house fire that left a family of five homeless on Monday afternoon.
Firefighters were called to the home at 1197 Fraserview St. around 9 a.m. with reports of smoke coming out of the windows.
But neighbours say it didn’t take long for the fire to grow.
“It was a complete blaze. There was smoke everywhere, you could see fire in pretty much every window — it was bad,” said John Hartt, who lives down the street.
“There were fire trucks everywhere, smoke as high as the sky.”
Port Coquitlam Fire Chief Nick Delmonico said the resident, a single mother of four, was home but got out safely. Her four kids were at school.
He said the steep slope of the property and fences made it hard for firefighters to get access, and the nature of the fire itself created its own problems.
“Really ugly, green smoke — we were getting some blue and green flame, which is a concern if that is fuelled by some natural gas or metal burning,” he said.
Delmonico said it’s not clear how the fire started, though it may have come from a kitchenette in the basement.
He said firefighters expected to be on site for most of the day working on hot spots.