Saanich resident Lynn Cohoe was in her kitchen about lunchtime Saturday when she saw the back corner of the house across the street engulfed in flames.
“I ran out of the house. At the same time, a car stopped. The guy got out and said, ‘Call 911!’ I said, ‘On it,’ and he went to knock on the door,” Cohoe said.
One of the young men who lives in the rental home ran outside in wearing only a pair of pyjama bottoms, she said. “We had to give him a shirt and shoes.”
His roommates at the Midgard Avenue residence, near the University of Victoria, were not home at the time.
“They’re great young guys,” Cohoe said. “They’ve mowed my lawn and are very friendly.” She said the men, some of whom are students, have rented the home since about 2009.
The home was fully engulfed in fire when firefighters arrived, said Saanich Fire acting battalion chief Derrik Ash.
“Flames were coming out the rear, front and side of the building,” he said. The fire was so intense firefighters could not go inside and had to contain the blaze with hoses from the outside.
“The roof started to collapse and it was not structurally sound to go inside,” he said. Nearly four hours later, firefighters were still tackling hot spots.
Ash said there were no injuries.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.