Lightning from thunderstorms sparks two Central Okanagan fires - InfoNews

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Lightning from thunderstorms sparks two Central Okanagan fires

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September 04, 2019 - 9:09 AM

KELOWNA - A Peachland house is uninhabitable today after possibly being set on fire by a lightning strike last night.

Peachland fire chief Dennis Craig told that initial reports were of a grass fire on Vernon Avenue just before 7 p.m. yesterday, Sept. 4, but it was a structural fire, right from the start.

“Based on witness accounts, that (lightning) is a cause we will be looking at,” he said. “A tree next to the house showed that it was hit by lightning but the cause is officially under investigation."

The tree did not catch fire but the roof of the two-storey house was showing flames through the roof when firefighters arrived.

The one person in the house got out safely, along with his pets, and spent the night with friends.

There was significant damage done to the roof and upper floor, along with smoke and water damage to the rest of the house.

Craig described it as a “wind-driven fire,” given the high winds during last night’s thunderstorm.

Kelowna’s fire department received numerous 911 calls around 6:40 p.m. reporting smoke in the Begbie and Union road area of Glenmore following a lightning strike.

Fire crews quickly extinguished a low, slow-burning grass fire that was about 20 feet by 50 feet, according to a Kelowna Fire Department news release.

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