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UPDATE: Dozens temporarily homeless after apartment fire

View from fenced area just outside adjacent apartment complex.
July 13, 2013 - 2:04 PM

UPDATE: 11:10 a.m. July 13, 2013

KELOWNA - The quick work of the Kelowna Fire Department saved most of a 4-storey apartment building Saturday.

Crews were called to The Bristol apartments at 445 Franklyn Road in Rutland at about 7:40 a.m.

Flames and smoke could be seen for kilometers. Fire had broken out on the deck of unit 301 and spread to its upstairs neighbour, unit 401.

Fire alarms were ringing as the residents escaped without much more that the clothes they were wearing.

Two residents were taken to Kelowna General Hospitals. The fire department doesn't know the extent of their injuries.

“I heard a bang, bang, bang,” said acting building manager Dave Leforge. He thought that was the patio doors blowing out at unit 301.

“We were already up. We saw the fire right away and the fire department was very quick getting there,” according to Dave’s father, Andrew Leforge.

Resident Pam Shigeyoshi was standing in her pink bathrobe waiting to get her car and her pet. She was getting ready to get in the shower when she heard the fire alarm.

“But we hear alarms all the time. So I didn’t think much of it.” She added, “When I opened the door (of her apartment) I could smell the smoke and knew it was real.”

The people evacuated from the apartment building are now all in the care of the Emergency Social Services. They’ve been gathering at the Salvation Army church on Sutherland Ave.

The fire is out and a crew will be left at the scene for the rest of the day to watch for hot spots and put them out.

The unit the fire started in is badly damaged, and the unit above it is completely destroyed.

“Our crews held the fire to that corner of building. There is damage to the roof. Some of the suites are uninhabitable,” said platoon captain Tim Light. There is smoke damage in most of the other suites.

The residents won’t be allowed back into their units right away even if they aren’t badly damage. According to Light, it’s so investigators can look for the cause of the fire.

A total of 24 professional fire fighters and 20 auxiliary members battled the blaze.

The apartment buildings in that area of Rutland are very close together, about 30 to 40 feet in some cases.

You could see embers and chunks of debris on the steps of one of the apartment buildings next door.

There will be a meeting for displaced residents at the Salvation Army on Sutherland Ave. on Sunday, July 14 at 2:00 p.m. to update them on the situation.

Credit: Pictures and video by Shelley Jordan, Google Maps and Google Streetview

9:29 a.m. July 13, 2013

KELOWNA - Kelowna Fire crews are battling a blaze at an apartment building in Rutland right now.

Fire broke out at about 7:40 a.m. today at the Bristol Apartments on Franklyn Road.

The 4 storey apartment building has been evacuated.

Crews are pouring water of the fire that is burning into the roof.

InfoTel News will have more on this breaking news story as it becomes available.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at jwhittet@infotelnews.ca or call (250)718-0428.

 

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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