BX Swan Lake firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that broke out in the kitchen area of a double-wide modular home shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, off Elmwood Road and Highway 97. Nobody was home at the time though a cat rescued from the burning home later died. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

BX Swan Lake firefighters work to extinguish a blaze that broke out in the kitchen area of a double-wide modular home shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 5, off Elmwood Road and Highway 97. Nobody was home at the time though a cat rescued from the burning home later died. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

North Okanagan house fire likely started in kitchen

Nobody home at time except family pet who died after being rescued by firefighter

A Vernon couple didn’t get to enjoy their new home for long.

Fire significantly damaged a double-wide modular home on a frontage road property off Elmwood Road in the BX Thursday morning.

The pair was away from the home when the fire was reported. They had just moved into the home last weekend.

“It’s pretty serious,” BX Swan Lake Fire Chief Bill Wacey said of the damage to the home. “There’s a lot of smoke damage and the kitchen is is basically destroyed. There was no Christmas tree up with presents under it or anything like that.”

The family cat was rescued from inside the home by a firefighter. Oxygen was administered to the cat but unfortunately, the pet did not survive.

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Calls came in about the fire shortly after 10 a.m. but there was wrong information given to the fire department

“We had a problem trying to find the address,” Wacey said.”Everybody driving by (on Highway 97) phoned it in but didn’t give us an accurate address count so we lost a bit of time.

“Calls came in as Meadowlark Road and we had two of our guys out trying to find it.”

One of the firefighters trying to locate the fire works at the IRL International Truck Centres which is just past Meadowlark Road on the east side of the highway. Elmwood Road is the next right turn heading north, one kilometre past Meadowlark.

When firefighters arrived at the home, smoke was seen coming out of the residence’s eaves.

“It was a pretty serious backdraft situation,” Wacey said. “The house windows were bulging out with smoke puffing through the eaves. We got set up and entered the house. We managed to extinguish the fire in the kitchen area, with the starting point being around the stove area.”

Wacey said there was nothing to indicate the fire was suspicious in nature.


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