Fortis and Vernon Fire Department personnel survey one of two homes destroyed by fire on 53rd Avenue Tuesday.

Fortis and Vernon Fire Department personnel survey one of two homes destroyed by fire on 53rd Avenue Tuesday.

Flames ravage two Vernon residences

Flames and smoke engulfed two homes in the 2200 block of 53rd Avenue at about 5:15 a.m. Tuesday.

An early-morning fire has left three Vernon residents homeless.

Flames and smoke engulfed two homes in the 2200 block of 53rd Avenue at about 5:15 a.m. Tuesday.

“It happened and we are OK,” said Warren Grabinsky as he watched the firefighters douse the remains of the home  he and wife Shirley have lived in for eight years.

The couple fled in their pajamas after hearing a noise and then discovering smoke.

A woman in the adjacent home was also able to escape uninjured.

All of the occupants have received support from Emergency Social Services.

Among the first on scene was Brent Bond, a captain with the Vernon Fire Department.

“There was extensive flames coming from the roof to the point that we couldn’t gain access,” he said.

“We had to park our truck farther away because of the heat.”

With two homes engulfed by smoke and fire, a defensive attack was established to ensure the blaze didn’t spread to adjacent residences.

“We lost two structures but we were able to save the third,” said Bond.

Two natural gas lines were venting and that remained a challenge until sufficient manpower was on scene.

“They kept fuelling the fire,” said Bond.

The investigation for a cause continued throughout much of Tuesday.

“There are potential sources we are looking at,” said Lawrie Skolrood, deputy fire chief.