A single-family home on St.
Andrews Street sits empty and unlivable after a fire broke out last Friday
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
Crews were surprised to fire
had spread to the interior of the house.
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
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
While no one was hurt in the
fire, there was significant water damage, and an investigation into the cause
is currently underway.