Two people were taken to hospital and several others were forced out of their homes after two houses caught fire in north Burnaby overnight.
Neighbours living near the house on Pender Street, near Boundary Road, called 911 just before 3:00 a.m. PT Friday when they saw smoke and flames coming out of its roof.
"Somebody was screaming, 'Fire, fire, fire,'" said Mike Svatek, who lives near the homes that burned.
"The flames looked like they hit up to 8 to 12 metres ... from the roofs."
When fire crews arrived, flames had spread to the roof of the house next door, which had already been evacuated.
Residents suffered smoke inhalation
Burnaby fire officials said two people living in the first house were taken to hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation.
Three others in the second house escaped uninjured, but couldn't return home for the night.
"A challenging fire for our crews, but our men and women are doing a great job," said Deputy Chief David Samson early Friday morning.
"We do also have some displaced residents in the townhouse unit to the west. About four of those units have been evacuated."
Samson said firefighters had issues getting inside the second burning house due to an accumulation of belongings inside the building.
The fires caused significant damage to the roofs of both buildings, the deputy chief added.
Crews battled the fires for several hours before they were contained.
The cause of the initial fire is under investigation. Samson said it does not appear suspicious at this time.