Destructive blaze

Destructive blaze

UPDATED: Westbank home destroyed in blaze

A destructive blaze has destroyed the interior of a home in West Kelowna.

UPDATE: 7:35 p.m.

Two families were displaced after a violent kitchen fire tore through a Westbank home Friday afternoon.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue has released further details on its response to the blaze.

“At approximately 2:30 p.m. this afternoon, West Kelowna Fire Rescue (WKFR) received multiple reports of a townhouse complex on fire on Ingram Road in West Kelowna. A large plume of smoke was clearly visible to WKFR units en route to the fire, and the incident was quickly upgraded to a second, and then a third alarm.”

On arrival, West Kelowna fire crews found a three-unit townhouse ablaze, with heavy fire coming from one of the units and fire extension into another.

“The first two companies, from Westbank and Lakeview Heights, immediately went into the offensive attack mode, first hitting the fire hard with a hose line from outside the structure.

Once the fire was sufficiently knocked down, they quickly transitioned into the interior of the structure to extinguish the fire, conduct a search for any occupants, and to search for fire extension into the attic space and adjoining units.

Fortunately, all of the occupants were already safely out of all three units; they are now in the care of Emergency Support Services.”

A total of six West Kelowna Engine Companies and One Ladder Company responded to the fire. They were supported by three WKFR Command units, a WKFR Safety, Westbank First Nations Law Enforcement, BC Ambulance, RCMP, Fortis BC and Regional Emergency Support Services.

WKFR is issuing the following advice after responding to the blaze likely caused by a pot on the stove.

If you have a cooking fire….

“Just get out. When you leave, close the door behind you to help contain the fire. Call 9-1-1 after you leave. If you try to fight the fire, be sure others are getting out and you have a clear way out. Keep a lid nearby when you’re cooking to smother small grease fires. Smother the fire by sliding the lid over the pan and turn off the stovetop. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.”

UPDATE: 3:40 P.M.

Two families are displaced after a violent kitchen fire tore through a Westbank home.

“When we arrived we found one of the units fully involved and the fire had extended to the unit next door,” explains West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund.

“We’ve done everything we can to stop the spread. The fire is now out and all the residents are accounted for.”

Brolund says the residents were home at the time of the fire and report that the fire grew rapidly.

“We are just starting our investigation, so we do not yet have any indication into the cause,” adds Brolund.

Four fire trucks and about 20 firefighters attended the scene.

Nearby neighbour Donna Turris witnessed the blaze and says a woman in the unit was cooking in the kitchen when a grease fire ignited.

“She got out of the kitchen quick and called the fire department,” says Turris.

“The fire went up extremely fast. From the time she ran out and she was screaming, until the time the fire department came was less than five minutes, they had it out in less than seven minutes. Great work fire department.”

She claims the fire had spread into the living room of the next-door unit and she was extremely impressed with the quick work of the firefighters.

The residents of both units are in now in the care of emergency services.

ORIGINAL 3 p.m.:

A destructive blaze has destroyed the interior of a home in Westbank.

The fire broke out at about 2:40 p.m. Friday afternoon and the unit was fully engulfed when fire crews arrived.

The home on the 2400 block of Ingram Road was a unit at the Okanagan Metis & Aboriginal Housing Society.

Flames were witnessed shooting out of the home and black smoke was visible from around the Central Okanagan.

Firefighters were able to knock down the destructive blaze just after 3 p.m.

The Kelowna Capital News will have more information as it becomes available.

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