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None injured in Brio blaze

Cause of fire at construction site under investigation

An under-construction house on Sunridge Drive in Brio went up in flames last night, though none were injured and the surrounding houses were undamaged, according to the Whistler Fire Rescue Service (WRFS).

The structure in question is under renovation, said WFRS chief John McKearney, and was all “bare stud and timbers with scaffolding on all sides” when the fire started.

The main focus of crews on scene was to “protect the structure to the west, a beautiful home there, which they did,” McKearney said, adding that no injuries or damage to other homes was reported as a result of the fire, and no one was displaced.

“Everything’s under control, the full team finished up at about 3:30 in the morning, and then we left one of our units, a four-person unit there … to deal with spotfires,” McKearney said.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

“It’s undetermined right now,” McKearney said.

“It could be electrical. It’s not suspicious in our minds, because the trades have been working in there, but there’s a number of possibilities, so I don’t want to speculate.”

That said, WFRS crews have pinpointed where the intensity of the blaze was located in the building, “so we’re trying to determine what was contained in those areas,” he added.

“It’s just such a loss, such a shame, because they’d done a lot of work.”

As the WFRS’ first career unit was responding to the call on Friday night, the captain had the prescience to call in all paid-on-call and career staff after seeing the size of the flames from the village, McKearney said.

“It looked to them when they were heading towards it from the village that it was several houses on fire,” he said.

“As they got closer they realized what it was.”

But the paid-on-call firefighters proved their worth, McKearney said.

“Our career team last night was five firefighters, [and] they could not do the work that needed to be done without our paid-on-call force,” he said.

“And we had 30 paid-on-call firefighters respond quickly to this fire to assist, so I think that’s worth mentioning.”