Penticton Fire Department investigators are still looking into the cause of a blaze at a townhouse unit on Thursday (Sept. 3).
Fire chief Wayne Williams said despite rumours that a child playing with matches ignited the blaze in a unit at the Chateau Village located at 3099 South Main Street around 6:30 p.m., the fire department has not determined the cause yet.
“All the three tenants got out of the unit and were not injured. The owner lives out of province and I do not know whether the tenants had insurance. A fire investigator will be going there today,” said Williams.
The fire chief said it is not surprising to hear children still playing with matches and lighters even with the vast amount of attention brought to the prevention of such things.
“It just happened in Burnaby where a child was playing with a candle when the power was knocked out and caused an apartment fire. Everyone needs to be really careful with open flame and where they are storing lighters and matches so children can’t access them,” said Williams.
A Penticton fire crew arrived to the unit in Chateau Village on Thursday noticing a column of smoke. As they approached the unit flames could be seen jumping out a second storey window, said Williams.
“The crews did an excellent job containing the fire to the room or origin which appeared to be a bedroom. The first crew to arrive gave the fire a quick blast through the window which really slowed it down and gave the other crews time to get there and totally extinguish the fire,” said Williams. “I think the fact that they did that probably saved a few units in the complex.”
Due to the smoke damage, the family was not allowed back into the unit overnight and were given housing assistance from emergency support services. Tenants to either side of the townhouse were allowed to return to their homes.