Jen slowed down to investigate. She drove another block, then turned around and noticed flames coming from the back side of the house from a back porch or patio and a nearby bush on fire.
Jen immediately contacted BCEHS dispatch and told them to call Delta Fire with the exact address on 55B Street in Ladner.
“I went running up to the front door, I pounded on the door and rang the doorbell”. When a woman and man opened the door, she told them: “Your house is on fire and spreading quickly, you need to get out!”
They said they needed to get their dog. Jen suggested they go across the street. When she asked if anyone else was in the house, the woman said her son was downstairs. Jen told the woman not to go down and get him, and that she would ensure that he got out. The woman called for her son as she went out the front door. On her way to the neighbour’s house, Jen knocked on the basement window yelling for the son to get out of the house. When she looked back, she saw three people and the dog going across the street.
Jen had noticed that the neighbour’s roof was catching fire. When there was no answer at the front door, she ran around the back and pounded on the glass patio door, but no one was home. “That’s when I inhaled a lot of smoke as ash and thick smoke were blowing right at me,” she said.
Delta Fire quickly arrived, and Jen went home. But by then, she had a reactive airway and was coughing quite a bit. She went back to the scene and her paramedic colleagues who were on standby at the fire treated her for minor smoke inhalation. The next day, Jen went back to work.
“Anyone in the situation would have done the same thing,” said Jen. “It was a little terrifying, but I know how quickly fire can spread and what it does to people.”
“I was running off adrenaline and just hoping everyone got out. I wasn’t sure if they (residents) were aware their house was on fire and if they were aware of how bad it was.”
“The fire appeared to have spread quickly and I truly feel that the outcome for the occupants may have been far worse if it weren’t for her heroic efforts,” said Tim Ipsen, Deputy Chief Operations, Delta Fire & Emergency Services.
A passerby who saw the fire and learned about Jen’s actions, posted on Facebook:
“Kudos to the brave woman driving down 55b on her way home from work as a paramedic this evening who noticed smoke and then flames coming from a home near Leslie Park. She pounded on the door and alerted the family that they needed to get out. Her timely intervention played a huge role in keeping everyone safe. Thank you for your swift actions.” – Ladner’s Landing Facebook page