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Officials saying little about cause of Penticton townhouse fire

Police and Penticton firefighters remain at the scene of a townhouse fire at Cascade Gardens. The fire broke out at 8 p.m. last night, Oct. 13, 2016.
October 14, 2016 - 9:20 AM

PENTICTON - Penticton firefighters spent a long night battling a townhouse fire in the city.

Fire Chief Larry Watkinson says firefighters responded to Cascade Gardens town homes complex in the 1400 block of Penticton Ave. around 8 p.m. last night, Oct. 13.

Watkinson says firefighters worked all night, but were successful in keeping the blaze from spreading to nearby townhouse blocks.

The fire originated in the basement of a multi-unit building and quickly spread to the rest of the units.

Watkinson would not divulge further details as to the fire’s cause. He says a joint statement is being prepared by both fire and police departments.

Dawn Goerlitz who lives in a separate unit in the Cascade Gardens complex, says she had gone to bed sick last night when her husband came in and asked if she had heard someone screaming for help.

“We came out, and the corner of the unit was blazing from the basement,” she says.

Goerlitz says her son saw the daughter of one of the occupants being taken away by police earlier in the day.

“I don’t know what happened, but I guess she was taken away again, shortly after this happened. It’s really sad, because there are people in here that lost everything,” she says, noting a single mother with three teenage boys lost all her possessions in the fire.

Goerlitz says she noticed firefighters evacuating a neighbouring building around 1:30 this morning.

Goerlitz has started a GoFundMe page to assist victims of the fire.

Firefighters and police were on scene this morning, Oct. 14.

Residents of four units have been displaced and nearby buildings were temporarily evacuated during the height of the fire as a precautionary measure.

- This story was updated at 9:30 a.m. Oct. 14 to add additional information provided by an eyewitness, and again at 1:40 p.m. Oct. 14 to correct spelling of Dawn Goerlitz'' name and add information about the vicitms Gofundme page.

Penticton fire crews spent the night battling a townhouse fire in the 1400 block of Penticton Avenue, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.
Penticton fire crews spent the night battling a townhouse fire in the 1400 block of Penticton Avenue, Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016.
Image Credit: Skylar Noe-Vack

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