PET BELIEVED DEAD IN FIRE
PENTICTON - Penticton firefighters battled a blaze that broke out last night at the Pass Motor Inn, located at 2307 Skaha Lake Road.
Firefighters were called to the scene at roughly 8:30 p.m., Dec. 30, according to a media release from RCMP. The building was evacuated while firefighters worked to put out the blaze, though one resident suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was taken to Penticton Regional Hospital for treatment.
At the height of the fire, flames were isolated to several end units and several residents from units that weren't affected were eventually allowed to return to their rooms. Those displaced by the fire were given other accommodations.
Penticton firefighters spent Wednesday morning combing through the wreckage of four motel units.
"Two are damaged structurally, and two below have smoke and water damage,” said fire investigation officer Mike Richards. The investigation was being hampered by weakened flooring on one of the second floor units, which department personnel were reinforcing with plywood.
The fire is under investigation and though the cause hasn't been determined, firefighters don't think it's suspicious at this time.
Kyle Gerkin was in the unit next to the one where the fire is believed to have begun.
“I was sleeping when I heard knocking on my window,” he said. “The flames were already at my door.”
He and his partner ran out of the room, when they realized their cat was still inside,
“I tried to find the cat, but couldn’t,” he said. The cat is believed to have been lost in the fire.
“It was my friend, who lives in unit 218, who knocked on my window. He was still awake, and saw the fire. I’m glad I have friends," he added.
Gerkin was paying rent on a bi-weekly basis at the motel.
“Everything I owned was in there,” he said, as he and his girlfriend prepared a list of their possessions for firefighters to search for.
Emergency Social Services personnel were on hand at the motel Wednesday morning, assisting the three fire victims.
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