At 1 a.m. on Saturday at the start of the July long weekend, I was awoken by something I had never heard before since moving to Spiller Road in 1991. A siren.
Seeing a fire truck from my bedroom window, I got up thinking one of my neighbours was in need of help.
As I walked through my office to the front door I was surprised and, for a second, dumfounded by the sight of a wall of fire that filled my window.
It was my neighbour’s house two doors down and there was no sound. My son came to my side, and I told him to wake everyone in the house and prepare to leave.
The house had been lost by the time the first truck arrived and the professional crew of the Penticton Fire Department could do little. And everyone there knew that it could be much worse, for the firemen had no water.
Had this weekend been the type of weather that we had all wished for, the situation could have been one of a catastrophe.
No one has forgotten the Garnet fire of ‘94, or the devastation for Kelowna in ‘03, and there but for God’s grace could have been something of equal magnitude.
Rather that the infamous 30-30-30s (30 Celsius, 30 per cent humidity and 30 kilometre wind) we had cool, high humidity and calm.
As citizens of Penticton the families on Spiller Road feel that we can have the same level of fire protection that the rest of Penticton enjoys and sleeps with every night.
Fire hydrants that are needed now here on Spiller Road are in the best interest of the 14 families who live here, and almost everyone else from Macmillan Road to the residence of Naramata. This is not new information as it has been discussed before. Please, let’s not wait for the next time to discuss this again. Place fire hydrants on Spiller Road.