Rescue in Maple Ridge, British Columbia, Canada

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Firefighters had to rescue several tenants from an early morning apartment fire in Maple Ridge early Saturday including a woman surrounded by flames who was plucked from from the third floor.

“In my 30 years of doing this, this was the closest call we’ve ever had,” said Maple Ridge Fire Chief Dane Spence of the dramatic rescue.

Maple Ridge fire

Flames burn through the roof of a four-building apartment complex in Maple Ridge. Fire Chief Dane Spence said the call initially came in as an explosion. Two units already were on fire when crews arrived. (CBC)

The call initially came in as an explosion around 6 a.m. PT at an apartment complex at 2292 122 Avenue.

By the time firefighters got there, Spence said two units were already on fire and a second alarm was immediately called.

Spence said firefighters could see people trapped on the building’s third floor balconies unable to get out because of the smoke.

However, he said, firefighters managed to get everyone to safety.

One firefighter had to be taken to hospital after twisting his ankle on debris.

Firefighters were still on scene as of 10 a.m. PT mopping out the remains of the blaze.

Residents who were evacuated have been placed on a bus.

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