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UPDATE: Likely months before Vernon residents can return to fire-damaged apartment

This photo from local photographer Eric Draht shows heavy flame and smoke erupting from Arbor Lee apartments July 10, 2017.
Image Credit: Eric Draht
July 11, 2017 - 6:37 AM

VERNON - A fire forced the residents of a Vernon apartment building out of their homes last night.

Flames erupted Monday evening, July 10, at the Arbor Lee Apartments off Alexis Park Drive near Turtle Mountain. In total there are 12 units in the complex, eight of which were heavily damaged, according to a media release from the City of Vernon. 

"It is unlikely that residents will be able to return to the building for several months," the city says.

Deputy fire chief David Lind says no residents were injured. One fire fighter received medical attention for minor injuries.

Local resident Eric Draht watched the fire burn last night as firefighters battled the flames.

In response, the City of Vernon set up a reception centre at the Vernon Lodge for evacuees.

Two fire engines, a ladder truck and approximately 30 fire fighters were used to extinguish the fire. Crews remained on scene until the early morning hours of July 11, the city says.

Coldstream and BX Fire departments each supplied fire fighters to help sustain operations during the fire, and RCMP, B.C. Ambulance, and gas and electrical utilities also attended the scene. Emergency Social Services volunteers provided shelter, food and clothing for seven families displaced by the fire, according to the city. 

The housing complex has been secured and fire investigators will be on scene shortly. At this point no cause of the fire has been determined.

“This was a difficult job," Lind says in the release. “I am impressed with our first arriving fire fighters, they did the right things in those first moments which sets up the rest of the operation for success. Throughout this event I witnessed excellent team work by all those involved. Vernon’s ESS volunteers consistently provide needed support and compassion to displaced residents. These are hard situations for the residents, this type of support can really help them to get through those first days after a fire.”

Lind asks that residents plan and practice a fire escape plan from their home. Remember, you need two ways out, he says.

— This story was updated at 8 a.m. July 11, 2017 to include information from the City of Vernon. 


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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