The quick actions of a West Trail resident led firefighters to a smoldering house fire on Saturday night at 680 Hendry Street.
Just past 10:30 p.m., neighbour Dale Grewcock was checking the lock on his basement door, when he detected the smell of smoke.
After opening the door and looking up at the streetlight, he could see smoke drifting by.
Grewcock jogged to the end of the street where he noticed smoke coming out of a house.
“Then there was a bang and a flash of fire,” he said.
“Followed by another bang and the sound of breaking glass.”
Grewcock ran back home, dialed 911, and then immediately alerted his neighbours.
“We stood outside and waited,” he said.
“The fire department showed up and took care of the rest.”
Crews responded to a report of an explosion in a house on McAnally Street, said fire chief Terry Martin.
Martin said that there were no visible flames when the firefighters arrived, but the neighbour flagged them down and pointed them to the house, which is actually on Hendry Street.
He said that once the crew did a ‘360’ of the house; they discovered that there indeed was a fire in the basement suite.
The fire itself was extinguished quickly, however, upon investigation it was noted that the fire had been burning for quite some time, said Martin.
The house contains a top floor suite that is vacant; and the basement suite, which is occupied on occasion by the owner’s son.
“We are working with the owner and occupant to narrow down what was in the particular area that was burning,” said Martin.
Even though the fire was contained to one small room in the basement suite, because it was burning so long before detection, there is considerable heat and smoke damage, explained Martin.
At this point, the house is not live-able, he said.
Martin added that the explosion initially reported was, in fact, two aerosol cans that burst due to the intense heat.
The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but suspicious activity has been ruled out. There were no injuries, said Martin.
Rob Hawton, sergeant of the Trail and Greater District RCMP, said that the cause of the fire is thought to be electrical, although it remains under RCMP investigation.
Selkirk Security guards are posted at the site to keep it secure until the investigation is completed.