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Saanich couple woken by strange smell discover house on fire

Extensive fire and smoke damage to Wascana Street home
Saanich crews extinguished a fire in the 3200-block of Wascana Street Wednesday morning. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff) Saanich crews extinguished a fire in the 3200-block of Wascana Street Wednesday morning (Sept. 8). (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)

A Saanich couple and their dog is shocked but safe after they awoke to their Wascana Street house on fire early Wednesday (Sept. 8) morning.

Rhys Murphy told Black Press Media when he and his partner woke up for work there was a strange smell in the air, almost like burning oil. Not thinking much of it, the two continued to lay in bed for a little while.

“Then I started smelling wood smoke,” Murphy said. He wrote it off as wildfire smoke that must be blowing through the area, until he heard a neighbour yelling outside – “Our neighbour’s house is on fire!”

Thinking it was someone else’s house, Murphy leapt out of bed, threw on a pair of pants and ran outside to see if he could help. It was then he realized it was his house on fire. He then ran back inside to help get his partner and dog out to safety.

“There were some tears initially but everyone’s safe, the dog’s okay, so what more can you ask for,” Murphy said, looking at his blackened home from across the street Wednesday morning.

The Saanich Fire Department responded to the fire in the 3200-block of Wascana Street shortly before 7 a.m. and were able to extinguish the blaze, containing most of it to the open car port and left side of the home. They said there is extensive fire and smoke damage to the residence.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation and people are asked to avoid the area.

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