Unstable conditions hinder investigation into devastating Vernon house fire - InfoNews

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Unstable conditions hinder investigation into devastating Vernon house fire

Fire investigators dig through the wreckage of a vicious house fire that occurred April 13, 2016.
April 14, 2016 - 4:30 PM

VERNON - The cause of a vicious and fast-moving house fire yesterday in Vernon remains undetermined.

Fire investigators were on scene today, April 14, sifting through the rubble of the Valleyview Place blaze in Vernon’s Mission Hill neighbourhood. Due to the extensive damage and state of the building, which was gutted by the flames, investigators have been unable to get inside as much as they would like.

“The integrity of the building is a little bit questionable relative to people, or for that matter even the wind,” fire investigator Lawrie Skolrood says.

The Vernon Fire Department believes the blaze started in the lower level of the two-storey home. The home was fully engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene. Fortunately, all the occupants had already made it out safely, deputy fire chief Jack Blair says.

“(Firefighters) quickly realized the fire had climbed up the back of the building up into the attic area. The home had a cedar shake roof, which is very combustible. The fire started to spread above them and we evacuated the building (of firefighters) and did a defensive style attack,” Blair says.

Despite neighbouring homes being only 10 to 15 feet away, crews managed to contain the fire and prevent it from spreading to adjacent properties.

The fire department called in Emergency Social Services to assist the displaced occupants of the home.

Investigators plan to return to the scene Friday to continue their inspection.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston or call 250-309-5230 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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