Fire forces Penticton family out of their home

Older construction and renovations made the fire difficult to control for Penticton firefighters.

Deputy fire chief Dave Spalding said they received an alarm call for a possible kitchen fire on Norton Street, near Nanaimo Avenue at about 8:40 p.m. on Oct. 9.

Two engines and a crew of six firefighters were dispatched and found smoke coming through the door when they arrived on scene. When they made entry, they did find a kitchen fire, looking like it started from a pot on the stove.

“They extinguished the fire, but realized that it had gotten into the kitchen cupboards and up into some of the ceiling area,” said Spalding. “They ended up chasing it around inside the ceiling and it got up into the attic.”

Difficulties with older construction and renovations to the home made the fire difficult to control, and the roof was destroyed before it could be extinguished.

Spalding said the tenants, a couple and their adult son who were renting the place,  were  home at the time, but all escaped unharmed.

“They noticed the fire, tried to do something and couldn’t and exited the building,” he said. The family’s pets, two dogs and two cats were also safe.

“We did get one of the dogs out of the basement that was afraid to come up because of the smoke,” said Spalding.

The fire, according to Spalding, was a good example of how fast a fire can spread.

“Fire can travel quite quickly, especially if it has a good start. That  is why it is vitally important to have working smoke  alarms that are checked twice a year and to practice good kitchen safety and have a fire extinguisher handy,” he said. “We always recommend a small fire extinguisher between the kitchen  and the exit door so if you do have something small, you can try to put it out, on your way out.”