Fire destroys Whistler Cay home 

Gas leak triggers exterior and interior blaze

A single-family home on St. Andrews Street sits empty and unlivable after a fire broke out last Friday morning.

The blaze, which started at around 10:20 a.m., was caused by a gas leak.

“We investigated the fire yesterday and the cause seems to be a leak at the gas meter, which migrated into the house and was ignited from an ignition source within the home, which translated into a fire both inside the home and outside the home at the same time,” Whistler Fire Chief Rob Whitton explained.

The gas had not built up enough to cause an explosion, but a passerby noticed the exterior fire and called 911.

Crews were surprised to find that the fire had spread to the interior of the house.

Firefighters discovered light smoke conditions inside the home, which Whitton says is typical of an exterior fire, as smoke will migrate into the building. But while crews were inside trying to keep the fire from extending, they realized it had breached the floor in one of the bedrooms through the crawlspace.

“It was hidden from view and would not have been seen until it actually broke through the home and the floor,” Whitton explained.

No one was home at the time of the accident, but Whitton says damage to the home is “fairly significant,” with fire damage to the front of the building and one of the bedrooms, and significant heat and smoke damage throughout the home.

One firefighter also experienced a minor injury during the fire.

Whitton says the home is unlivable, but was unsure if it was a secondary home for the owners, or if they were displaced by the fire.

While the fire department has concluded its investigation, they are still trying to determine the ignition source, which Whitton says could be any number of electrical devices.

But they believe the gas leak was caused by snow accumulation.

“We’re kind of attributing it to the fact that snow had built up against the meter … and bent one of the pipes and caused a crack in the pipe,” Whitton said. “I don’t believe it’s unheard of, but it’s not something that happens normally.”

Whitton recommends people take a look at where their gas meters are located, and ensure they are clear of snow and protected from falling snow and ice.

“If you’re digging it out regularly, even if it’s in a snow dump area, you’re managing it and it should be okay.”

Private investigators from the insurance company are still looking into the fire.

Crews also responded to a second fire at the Marquee complex on Spearhead Drive this week.

The blaze broke out in a sauna in the recreational area of the building, activating the sprinkler system,

While no one was hurt in the fire, there was significant water damage, and an investigation into the cause is currently underway.

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