Foul play is not suspected in a fire that broke out in the back yard and spread to a home in the 3700 block of Commonage Place Thursday, Aug. 22, resulting in six people being displaced. The cause of the fire has been ruled undetermined. (Morning Star - file photo)

North Okanagan home fire cause ruled undetermined

Foul play not suspected in Commonage Place blazed that displaced six people

The cause of a fire that destroyed a Mission Hill home and displaced two sets of renters has been ruled undetermined, though foul play is not suspected.

Fire investigators have confirmed the fire in the 3700 block of Commonage Place Road on Thursday, Aug. 22, started in the back yard, spread to tall cedar trees and, from there, to the attic. The heat from the burning cedars and the attic fire also caused the melting of vinyl siding on a neighbouring home.

“There is a lot to be grateful for in regards to this incident,” said Vernon Fire Rescue Services Chief David Lind. “The actions of a Good Samaritan significantly reduced the risk to the occupants when she assisted them to evacuate. The quick actions of the firefighters stopped the spread of the fire to the neighbouring home, recovered a family pet and salvaged important family possessions.”

When the first fire engine and crew arrived on-scene, approximately seven minutes after the 911 call was placed, the fire was already burning through the roof of one home and was extending to a neighbouring residence. The firefighters were able to prevent the spread of fire with minimal exterior damage to the second home.

It was later discovered that a mother and child had evacuated the burning home after discovering the fire. During a search of the home a cat was found alert and responsive. It was taken to a vet for assessment and care.

READ MORE: Vernon mom rescues sleeping baby from burning home

Lind said the fire provided an important lesson for all to pay attention to.

“The plants and materials around our homes can enable a fire to spread into the home,” he said. The good news is that we can, quite often, do something easy and inexpensive to reduce the risk of this fire spread. We can FireSmart our homes and our yards.”

A family of five and a male tenant were displaced as a result of the fire.

READ MORE: Downstairs renter of torched Vernon home a British army veteran, new Canadian


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