The couple say they’ve been staying with friends and have plans for temporary accommodations as they move forward. /SUPPLIED

By Andrea Arnold

Pat and Karen Andrews lost their home of almost 25 years, travel trailer, tool shed, dump truck and personal vehicles in a fire early on the morning of March 15th.

Pat was away working the night shift and Karen was awakened by a large explosion around 1:30am. The blast came from their RV that was parked only a few feet from the side porch of the house. She was able to call 911 from inside the home before grabbing their pets, and her grandmother’s heirloom portrait before escaping. The fire department was on scene 13 minutes later, but the house was engulfed before they arrived.

A power line that ran above the travel trailer melted and fell. It lay live across the ground creating an unsafe environment for the firefighters who had to keep their distance while trying to combat the blaze. They had to wait for BC Hydro crews from Valemount to arrive to shut off the power before venturing closer.

The exact cause of the fire is unknown, but the immediate speculation is that a propane leak in the travel trailer resulted in the fire. 

“It was too heavily damaged to determine what, but the oven, fridge, and furnace compartments were all blown outside the framework of the trailer,” said Karen. “This corroborates my recollection of hearing a blast (also one of the neighbours 100 metres up the road also heard the blast loud and clear.)