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Firefighters spare homes after grass fire spreads in Enderby

The Monday night fire that scorched 3 townhouses has been deemed suspicious
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A grass fire scorched a trio of townhouses in Enderby Monday night, April 1, 2024. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

A trio of townhouses in Enderby were scorched Monday night after a suspicious grass fire spread from the banks of Shuswap River, and the city’s fire chief says the situation could have been a lot worse if not for a lack of wind and firefighters’ quick response time.

The Enderby Fire Department responded to the fire around 7 p.m. April 1, when smoke could be seen billowing above the Regency on the River townhouses.

Fire chief Cliff Vetter said that a grass fire had been ignited and quickly escalated, spreading along the river and towards the townhouses on Regent Avenue, and catching cedars on fire in front of the townhome complex.

“The heat and smoke scorched three of the units,” Vetter said, adding there was no serious structural damage to any of the homes.

“If there was any kind of wind the outcome would have been a lot worse,” Vetter said, adding the crew’s response time likely prevented more serious damage.

“We did have a very quick response; even five minutes longer and I think we probably would have had a full-on structure fire.”

Three fire engines and 13 firefighters attended the scene and promptly hosed down the blaze.

No one was injured, and Vetter said the homes were insured.

The blaze has been deemed suspicious, said Vetter, adding some youth were seen running away from the scene around the time the smoke became visible.

The RCMP attended the scene, and The Morning Star has reached out to police to see if an investigation into the cause of the fire is being pursued.

Vetter said the grass beside the river grows lushly as it has an abundance of water, and by April it dries out and becomes a fire hazard.

“Having some rain would certainly help,” Vetter said. “It’s definitely dry in there.”

The fire investigation has already concluded, said Vetter, who attended the scene again on Tuesday morning.

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Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
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