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Fire guts home in Cawston
Fire has consumed a Cawston residence sending one occupant to the hospital with burn injuries.
The owner of the property at 655 Beecroft Ave., which contains several trailers and living quarters, said a neighbouring tenant saw the flames around 11 p.m. Thursday evening.
“The fire department got here pretty quickly,” said the property owner, adding it is believed the man inside had been cooking when he fell asleep. "The fire department wasn’t able to save much, other than a few shelves."
The lone occupant of the trailer was transported to Penticton Regional Hospital with undetermined burns to the upper portion of his body. He was expected to be released Friday. One of two cats, however, did not survive the fire.
Keremeos and District Volunteer Fire Department was called after a neighbour saw flames coming from an older model manufactured home located on the property.
Keremeos Fire Chief Jordy Bosscha said the initial crew arrived to find the front portion of the trailer engulfed in flames.
It took 13 firefighters, two fire trucks with two support vehicles about four hours to knock the blaze down completely.
Damage to the trailer was extensive, with heavy smoke, water and heat damage throughout the interior.
There was no insurance on the trailer.
This is the second time this month that fire has destroyed a Cawston residence.
Wind-fanned flames destroyed a storage building with second floor accommodations in addition to a main residence on a farm about 15 kilometres south of Cawston.
Owners of the property, Craig and Angie Erikson, said a pair of farmworkers, one from France and the other from the U.S. had been sharing accommodations in the storage building.
The male was allegedly drinking and been kicked out by the female.
Erikson said it was cold out and the man started a fire and passed out. When he woke up the building was on fire and flames jumped to Erikson’s home.
The Eriksons had been taking part in family activities in Penticton and returned home around 9 p.m.
Somewhere between midnight and 3 a.m. they were awakened by smoke in their family home and despite efforts to save anything, they managed only to grab their cell phones and personal identification before fleeing with their children.
The family, who has insurance, estimate they lost $60,000 worth of summer’s crop of squash in the workers accommodations.