Blaze destroys Cawston building

Keremeos firefighters spent 11 hours Saturday dealing with a structure fire in Cawston.

A building was destroyed in Keremeos this morning after a blaze ripped through it early Saturday morning, taking 11 hours before it was finally dealt with.

The Keremeos Volunteer fire department was called to the structure fire in Cawston at 4 a.m. on Jan 21 and found it fully involved by the time the first truck arrived.

No one was injured in the fire, but the blaze presented a challenge: water had to be shuttled to the scene and with only 10 Keremeos volunteers available, a request was sent to Osoyoos who sent and additional five firefighters.

Firefighting efforts were hampered when a wall collapsed onto a natural gas line, breaking it and forcing all crews had to vacate the site until a specialized crew from FortisBC in Kelowna arrived to clamp off the underground steel gas pipes.

With the gas main closed off, crews returned to the site and, with the assistance of a local contractor and excavator, were able to tear apart the remnants of the building and extinguish the fire.

The Keremeos Fire department extends their thanks to the B.C. Ambulance service, FortisBC, the RCMP and Dutchies Transfer for their assistance.