April 02, 2013 - 2:44 PM
By Julie Whittet
The Kelowna fire department rushed to the scene of a balcony fire at an apartment complex at 1701 Thayer Court shortly after 2 p.m. today, April 2.
Another tenant, Tyler Durand, who lives in the first floor suite directly below says he noticed the flames that were licking more than five feet in the air and called 911. Durand says, "I smelled smoke in the apartment, and looked outside the balcony and saw flames about my height, right away I called 911 and got a hold of the fire department.”
The building's landlord unlocked the apartment for Durant using the master key, allowing him to access the balcony, where he put out the fire with extinguishers. Durand says, "I pulled the alarm and that's when my landlord came by and unlocked the door for me to go in. I took out three extinguishers.”
There were about 20 firefighters on scene with four units. Paramedics and RCMP also attended the scene, though nobody was injured. While the fire was all but out by the time emergency crews arrived, the fire department continued to investigate the scene, looking for heat spots and the source of the fire. So far, a cigarette butt has been found in a planter on the balcony.
All the damage is on the exterior of the building, and limited to the one apartment. Platoon Capt. Kelly Stephens says it's “due to the fact that the balcony itself is made out of concrete and it didn't allow fire to progress.”
While Stephens says it's good one of the tenants put the fire put out, “we don't recommend people go out and put themselves in jeopardy.”
“We just want to let everyone know they should keep safe, running into these situations it's better to get out and allow us to do our job safely,” Stephens says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250)718-0428.
(JULIE WHITTET /InfoTel Multimedia)
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013