Arson suspected in Keremeos fire

Ninth Avenue home sustains damage in Christmas Eve blaze

A Keremeos resident who spotted flames sprouting from his garage is “fortunate” the fire did not consume his house.

“The owner, who was at home at the time, was first to notice it,” reported Keremeos Fire Chief Jordy Boscha. “It’s fortunate that he noticed it when he did. It was minutes away from being much worse.”

The Keremeos Volunteer Fire Department responded to the garage fire in the 400 block of Ninth Avenue around 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Boscha said the fire got dangerously close to the nearby house, melting the vinyl siding and setting fire to the back porch prior to the arrival of the department. The fire chief said that the garage had no power and no heat.

“It is currently under investigation, definitely suspicious in nature at this point,” Boscha said, adding 15 firefighters were on scene battling the blaze for approximately two hours.

The fire department had little time to relax after returning back to the hall and were called out again about a half-hour later on Christmas Eve. The firefighters were called to extinguish a fire set in a field outside of Keremeos. Several people were seen fleeing the area around the time of the fire.

On Christmas Day, the fire department responded to chimney fire in Ollala, which did not cause any damage to the structure.

Boscha is asking that anyone who might have information on the two Christmas Eve fires to contact the Keremeos RCMP detachment at 250-499-5511 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.