1 person dead after house fire in Maple Ridge that continues to burn

One person is dead after a Maple Ridge home was engulfed in flames Saturday afternoon, fire crews confirm.

The fire, which broke out around 1:20 p.m., was still burning hours after crews arrived at the home on Dewdney Trunk Road and 264 Street, Maple Ridge Fire Chief Howard Exner said.

“Several people living in the house managed to get out themselves, but one person was believed to be trapped inside the house,” he said.

“Eventually we were able to make entry into the house and bring that person outside, and unfortunately that person succumbed to their injuries.”

Exner wouldn’t speculate on the identity of the victim. Global News has reached out to the BC Coroners Service for more information.

One survivor, who only gave his first name Anthony, said he was coming up the stairs from his suite in the basement when he ran into another tenant.

“A guy came out with a fire extinguisher and said, ‘The house is on fire,’” he said. “I was trying to see if the lady was OK inside, but I couldn’t hear anything.”

Anthony said the woman, who he did not name, was the victim found inside. He said she had some medical problems and was “really nice.”

“Definitely a shock,” he said.

Anthony said there was so much smoke he couldn’t see inside the home.

The chief said the home was fully involved when crews arrived on scene, requiring every Maple Ridge crew member to respond along with crews from Mission.

He added that the fire continues to burn in hard-to-reach areas that were created through multiple renovations.

“It’s an old, old building,” Exner said. “The fire is trapped between false ceilings and false roofs.”

One other person was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation, BC Emergency Health Services confirmed. Exner said that person was trying to get inside the house at the time.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, and Exner couldn’t speculate on any possible reasons for the blaze.

Traffic on Dewdney Trunk Road was backed up between 264 Street and 269 Street while crews fought the fire, and the road remains closed until further notice.

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