Dave Ogilive

UPDATE: Residents barely escape destructive West Kelowna fire

A mobile home in Westbank was destroyed Thursday afternoon in a destructive blaze

UPDATE: Jan. 5

Two residents narrowly escaped a destructive blaze to their mobile home in Westbank Thursday afternoon.

According to assistant fire chief Darren Lee, one resident had to quickly escape out the bedroom window as the primary exit was blocked by the fire.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue was called to the mobile-home fire on the 1800 block of Old Boucherie Road at about 1:34 p.m. Thursday.

“Upon arrival Engine 31 (Westbank) reported a fully-involved mobile home with heavy fire threatening to extend to the neighbouring homes on either side of the unit,” explained Lee.

“Firefighters confirmed the home was evacuated and stretched attack lines to protect the neighbouring homes on either side.”

With the other homes protected, Lee said firefighters worked hard to knock down the main body of fire from the exterior. This proved difficult given the home did not have access to a municipal water system or fire hydrants.

Homes in this mobile-home park are serviced by wells and septic systems.

“An interim water supply was established using Tender 32 (Lakeview Heights) that helped save the two exposed homes. When Engine 33 (Rose Valley) arrived, they stretched a supply-line from a hydrant in a neighbouring mobile home park, across Boucherie Road, over a snow-bank and through the back fence of a neighbour’s yard to the attack engine,” said Lee.

The mobile home is considered to be a total loss.

“The severely compromised structure posed a significant collapse hazard to West Kelowna Firefighters and neighbouring residences,” added Lee. “In order to protect the safety of firefighters and neighbours, WKFR called for an excavator to pull the down the remaining structure.”

The cause of the fire is currently undetermined and due to the structural collapse their fire cause investigation will be limited to witness statements, video and pictures.

“The two residents that escaped the fire were treated at the scene by BC Ambulance Paramedics and released,” said Lee. “Emergency Support Services was called to care for the four adults living in the home.

“The home is believed to be fully insured and the scene was turned over to the mobile-home park property manager.”

A total of 17 firefighters worked the scene with the assistance of West Kelowna RCMP, Westbank First Nations Law Enforcement, BC Hydro and Fortis Gas.

“The current weather conditions add significantly to the risks faced by our firefighters.,” said Lee.

“Their professionalism and effort under less than ideal conditions should be applauded. While the main fire occupancy was fully involved upon arrival, West Kelowna firefighters prevented the loss of two additional homes.”

This past October, WKFR, in conjunction with WFN Law Enforcement, took part in Fire Prevention Week.

The theme for 2017 was “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”. Lee said this incident not only highlights the importance of having working smoke alarms, but also having a home fire escape plan that provides residents and guests two ways out in case of fire.

For more information check out the links below;

http://www.nfpa.org/Public-Education/By-topic/Safety-in-the-home/Escape-planning

https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017PSSG0054-001708

—-

UPDATE: Jan. 4 – 2:32 p.m.

A mobile home unit at 1880 Old Boucherie Road is completely destroyed after a fire broke out just after 1:30 p.m.

According to witnesses, a plume of black smoke could be seen rising from the area.

Two people were inside the home when the fire started and both were able to escape. A witness says it appears an older woman who was inside the home had her hair singed by flames — however she did not go to the hospital.

Neighbours reportedly helped the two people escape the burning home, as well as more a motorbike out of the path of the fire.

Emergency crews remain on scene and the occupants will have to be placed in the care of emergency services.

According to those nearby, an explosion was heard during the fire that may have been the propane tank next to the BBQ.

The cause of the blaze is not known.

———

ORIGINAL:

Firefighters are currently headed out to a reported mobile home fire on Old Boucherie Road in West Kelowna.

The call came in about 1:30 p.m. for a structure fire at unit 9 -1880 Old Boucherie Road.

Several fire halls have been called out for support.

More to come.

To report a typo, email:
newstips@kelownacapnews.com
.


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

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