A Google image of the Sky Blue Waters Resort.

Resort reopens following fire

Water tanks used until new pump house can be built

Business at the Sky Blue Waters Resort is back in operation, although with a temporary fix to their water situation.

Crews from the Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Department were paged at 1:40 a.m. Monday, May 22 to respond to a structure fire at the Sky Blue Waters Resort.

Firefighters arrived to find a trailer and attached shed already fully engulfed, with the blaze having spread to an adjacent water pump house. This completely destroyed the water system for the resort.

Crystal Arnouse, an owner and manger of the business, says they have now installed temporary water tanks to provide water to the site, as authorized by the health authority.

“It’s a band-aid measure that we can do to get things running, while we wait for the insurance claim to allow us to rebuild our pump house,” she said. “We could not open until we had water, but these temporary tanks will at least let us get back to business.”

The residence was a summer vacation home and the owners had recently arrived for the long weekend.

“I think the father was awakened and he attempted to put the fire out, but it was spreading quickly. He went into the home, grabbed his wife and child, got them out and then went back in and got the dog out,” said Kyle Schneider, Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Chief.

“The water pump house was side-by-side with the trailer, so it moved over very quickly. No one has water at the moment,” said Schneider later Monday morning.

A total of 10 Tappen-Sunnybrae firefighters and equipment arrived for the initial call, and then a crew of eight firefighters and three fire trucks from the Shuswap Lake Fire Department were also dispatched to the scene.

The fire was so intense when crews arrived that containment was the primary objective and crews were able to save the trailer parked next to it, as well as a nearby Dodge truck.

No one was injured, but the structures are a total loss.

Arnouse is appreciative of the work of the fire crews, as well as the tradespeople who came to assist with the installation of the temporary water system.

“People around here have really jumped in to help out. We are really lucky for that. It’s so fortunate no one was hurt, not even the pets.”

Schneider said the fire may have started in the shed, possibly the result of a malfunctioning battery for a child’s moped, which was the only mechanical item in that structure.

As the structure was a vacation home, the affected family returned to their full-time residence outside of the Shuswap.