February 04, 2014 - 11:03 AM
VERNON - A large plume of smoke and the sound of explosions in the Coldstream area Sunday afternoon originated from a burning garage.
The Coldstream Fire Department was alerted just after 2 p.m. by a pair of women who noticed the smoke from Aberdeen Road, followed the smoke to a house on Northcott Drive, rapped on the door to see if anyone was inside and called 911.
“The two women did the smart thing (knock) because there was indeed someone home,” Coldstream fire chief Shane Code says.
The 18-year-old resident, whose parents were out at the time, wasn’t aware of the fire consuming the adjacent garage.
When firefighters arrived, they found a third of the garage consumed by flames.
“The ladies said they heard rapid heavy gunfire and we found the same thing,” Code says. “There were multiple explosions, one fairly large one. We don’t know if it was ammunition, paint cans (or other) flammable liquids.”
Due to the explosions, firefighters played it safe and fought the fire from behind a corner of the house.
“It was one of the few times I’ve fought a fire from cover,” Code says.
Firefighters managed to prevent the fire from engulfing the house, two vehicles in the yard and an overhanging tree.
Two vehicles, two motorcycles and a boat being stored in the garage were ruined.
“It really was a surround it, drown it and protect what’s there—the property and the people,” Code says.
By 4:45 p.m. the fire was mostly out (a few firefighters remained to douse hotspots) and the teen’s shocked parents returned home.
“They were reassured that the house was fine, their son was fine, and they got the idea that stuff can be replaced. They were just glad everybody was okay,” Code says.
An investigation into the cause of the fire is being conducted today.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014