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Overnight fire rips through Skyview Ranch home

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An overnight fire in the northeast community of Skyview Ranch destroyed one home and damaged two others.

The blaze on 200 block of Skyview Manor Northeast also displaced over a dozen residents while crews worked to bring it under control. 

The fire broke out just before midnight. When fire crews arrived, the building was fully involved, and additional units were called in to protect adjacent homes.

Chirag Besai lives next door to the house that caught fire, and was awakened by firefighters telling him to leave.

"It is scary, especially when it's cold outside and you're just barefoot, you are running out of the house, you have no idea what you're going to take with you," said Besai “You just want to run out of the house. That's the first thought (that) came in the mind and you're not thinking anything else."

Neighbour Samantha Keown heard and smelled the fire before she saw it, but once she saw it, she says it spread quickly.

“Originally I thought (it) was like somebody just having a fire in their backyard, because I could hear the crackling of wood, but I was thinking that I could smell something that it wasn't right, I could like smell the plastic siding," said Keown.

“As soon as I turned my head around the corner, I could see the patio, everything was already on fire, and by the time I had ran inside to get the phone and call 911 and came back out, the whole back end was on fire.”

Keown ran to the home to make sure everyone was out.

“I was running over while I was on 911 to start banging on the door to get them out. But they were already running (out).  I did panic extra a little bit because one of the women yelled, 'My husband is still in there.'”

That man did get out of the house safely, but the home will have to be demolished. All its supporting walls and joists have been destroyed. Fire crews have told residents of adjacent homes to be careful, as the building is in imminent danger of collapse.

 “You can completely see like the whole house is down,” said Chenai “and the firefighter told me that because of the fire one of the walls became very weak (and said) the chances are it can fall on your house.”

Firefighters say patio fires like the one in Skyview Ranch are particularly dangerous because they usually don’t activate smoke alarms until the blaze makes its way inside the home - leaving only seconds for escape. In this case no one was injured.

Fire officials say the cause of the fire is still under investigation but say it is not considered suspicious.

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