December 03, 2013 - 9:53 AM
VERNON - A structure fire forced residents out of a mobile home early Sunday morning.
Vernon Fire and Rescue responded to the Tronson Road blaze at 8 a.m. and were able to contain the flames and get the occupants out safely. The residents, an elderly woman and her son, cannot return home due to extensive fire and smoke damage, deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood says. Not only did the flames gut the home, they also consumed the family’s pets.
“A couple of cats perished in the fire,” Skolrood says.
Ron Baker, community protective services manager with the Regional District of North Okanagan, says the mother and son have been provided with accommodation through Emergency Social Services. The service is typically offered for three days following the incident, though it may be extended in certain circumstances.
The destroyed home is located on Okanagan Indian Band land in electoral area B. There’s no word on a cause yet, but Baker says the police are looking into it.
“The regional district doesn’t have fire investigation services in any of the electoral areas, so it falls on the RCMP,” Baker says.
Skolrood confirms the Vernon Fire Department’s role is now over, adding fire suppression is the extent of its involvement with incidents on reserve land.
“We have no jurisdiction there,” Skolrood says.
To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at email@example.com, call (250)309-5230 or tweet @charhelston.
This story was edited at 1:15 p.m. Dec. 2 to add information from Ron Baker and again at 2:30 p.m. to include comments from Lawrie Skolrood.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013