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Brave neighbours stop house fire spreading to forest in community past Pemberton

Lillooet Lake Estates' spirit of community 'really saved the day'
Thirty residents rushed to the scene of a house fire at Lillooet Lake Estates this weekend.

A dangerous house fire was extinguished by fast-acting residents before it spread to a nearby forest on Friday, June 21. The fire broke out in a lakefront home at Lilllooet Lake Estates east of Pemberton.

Lillooet Lake Estates (LLE) is a community of some 150 lots, seven kilometres southeast of Highway 99 on the In-SHUCK-ch Forest Service Road.

Residents of the home escaped just in time after noticing smoke. The fire quickly engulfed the top floor and the rafters of the roof.

Thankfully, word of the fire spread just as fast within the tight-knit community.

Neighbours started to fight the fire within 15 minutes. They used the community fire water network and a recently installed lakefront water pumping system.

Thirty residents rushed to the scene to help. They manned the hoses, salvaged belongings, and comforted the devastated homeowners.

As a result, the blaze was extinguished by that afternoon, with no further spread to neighbouring properties or the surrounding forest. Residents monitored the scene overnight.

President of LLE, Gary Young, explained in a press release  the cause of the fire is not known at this time. “Accidental causes or system failure is suspected,” he said. “Investigations and insurance response is forthcoming. The homeowners were insured, and we are asking that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.”

The area is not serviced by local fire departments in Mount Currie or Pemberton due to insurance regulations—which means residents must be prepared for the worst at all time.

“This fire was a true test of our equipment and training,” said Young, “Without the lakefront pumping system installed by the residents of Gate 5, this fire could easily have spread into the forest canopy and beyond. We are extremely grateful that no one was injured.” 

LLE residents attend annual fire-system training and FireSmart preparedness events. Young applauded all community members for their heroic response.

“The LLE Board will be taking a close look at this event and seeing how we can learn from it to be even better prepared and equipped in the future,” said Young. “But one thing is certain—it is the LLE spirit of community that really saved the day.”