Animals rescued from South Langley house fire

Langley Township firefighters doused a house fire and saved a dog and cat in Brookswood Thursday.

Just before 2 p.m., several firehalls were dispatched to the 20060 block of 22nd Street in Fernridge, where a split-level house was on fire.

Nick Bermister, who lived upstairs, said his girlfriend was home when the fire started. She smelled smoke and managed to get out with two of the family pets, two dogs.

However, Nick, and his brother Sheldon and Chandra Durrant who lived downstairs, were away at work. They rushed home, but Sheldon and Chandra’s dachshund Tobby and two cats were downstairs in the basement. The family’s hedgehog was also in a cage inside.

The fire appeared to have started in the garage and spread up into the roof.

Several residents arrived not long after the fire, called by Nick’s girlfriend, and had to wait nervously for more than an hour to see if their pets were alright. Although the fire was largely confined to the inside of the roof, smoke billowed from several points under the eaves. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus headed inside armed with hoses and hooked poles to attack the fire as it kept spreading inside the roof.

Bemister was re-united with his dog when firefighters bought Tobby out more than an hour after the fire had started, in his cage. With the fire largely under control, Bemister was taken inside to help round up one of his two scared cats. Durrant said the other cat has still not been found, and they don’t know if it escaped and got outside, or if it’s still hiding inside.

Unfortunately, Nick Bermister said the hedgehog didn’t survive.

Local emergency shelter services were finding the family a place to stay overnight, and they were expecting to be allowed back in the house, possibly as soon as noon on Friday if the building was structurally sound, to see if anything else could be salvaged.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

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