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Man and pets escape top floor blaze in Oak Bay

Flames light up the night on Victoria edge of Oak Bay
Victoria firefighters attacking with an aerial ladder from rear position on Sylvan Lane

The top floor of a home at 57 Beach Dr. is a charred mess and one man is lucky to have escaped, after fire ripped through in the early morning hours of Wednesday.

The call came in to the Oak Bay Fire Department around 1 a.m. At its peak, flames leapt into the sky across the length of the rental home.

The lone tenant sleeping in the building at the time was roused by a smoke detector and got out OK, Fire Chief Dave Cockle said. The man was taken to Royal Jubilee Hospital for examination and released soon after.

Both his dogs and a cat were accounted for, Cockle added.

At one point, 36 firefighters were battling the blaze, including two ladder crews from Victoria, an engine company from Saanich, plus a rescue truck.

The location of the structure – the home is built right into the rock high above Beach Drive near the Victoria border – made access tricky, Cockle said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but it appeared to have started on the roof, Cockle said. The top floor includes both a deck area as well as a living space with kitchen and bedrooms.

No damage estimate had yet been determined.