January 08, 2016 - 11:30 AM
SHUSWAP - While most were sitting down to dinner on Christmas Day, 29 firefighters left their loved ones to battle a devastating house fire in the Shuswap.
The call came in just after 6 p.m. Dec. 25, and saw firefighters from four different departments rush to the scene, regional fire chief Kenn Mount says.
On fire was a large, waterfront home on Webb Road, the orange glow lighting up the night sky over Shuswap Lake. The homeowners and their four guests made it safely out of the house and were supported by Emergency Social Services.
Firefighters attempted an interior attack, but within three minutes the roof was sagging and they were called out of the building for their own safety.
The fire, which is suspected to have started in the chimney, took off rapidly, Mount says.
“The roof had a rubber compound in it; it was like a lava flow dripping molten-looking droppings into the fire,” Mount says.
Another factor that caused the house to flare up was the use of teak wood in the home, which the owners reported as being worth $2.3 million.
“That’s just the structure and the property value, not the possessions,” Mount says of the estimated damages.
Firefighters managed to save neighbouring structures, but the home itself was completely destroyed.
“They (firefighters) wished they could have done more and saved the home. They’re taking it personally,” Mount says.
Most firefighters remained at the scene until midnight, some until the early hours of the following morning.
“I thanked a lot of them. It was a difficult day to get all the members out,” Mount says. “Firefighters are a different breed, they respond in the time and need, it doesn’t matter when.”
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016