Cause of blaze still unknown

The cause of a second house fire in less than a week on Bolton Road in Tappen remains undetermined

The cause of a second house fire in less than a week on Bolton Road in Tappen remains undetermined.

Fire crews were called out Thursday, Feb. 13 to a residence which was empty at the time of the blaze.

“We have narrowed the area of origin to the basement, possibly some kind of electrical failure,” says Kenn Mount, Columbia Shuswap Regional District Fire Service Co-ordinator. “What kind of failure or why is still undetermined… It is difficult because of the amount of damage.”

The scene has now been turned over to insurance investigators, and then it is likely the file will be looked into by the BC Safety Authority.

The RCMP remain involved with the investigation, especially since the home was vacant at the time of the blaze, but people had been seen coming and going from the home the previous day.

“We will be working closely with the RCMP on this case and I’ll be handing over my files to them once our investigation is concluded,” said Mount.

The fire was reported at 6:32 a.m. and a member of the Tappen Sunnybrae fire department who lives close by was on scene almost immediately. Members of the fire department arrived shortly thereafter and assistance was also called in from the White Lake and Shuswap Fire Departments. Approximately 20 firefighters were involved in the effort to put out the fire.

The rental home is currently listed for sale. The owner, who lives in Kamloops, has been interviewed by fire investigators and the primary tenant was not in Salmon Arm at the time of the blaze.

Mount also says the timing of the blaze, just a few days after an accidental fire on the same road, adds to suspicions about the cause.

While the 30-year-old home appears to be a total loss, Mount says the fire response was outstanding.

“It’s a well-organized response. I give two thumbs up to the Tappen Sunnybrae department for a really well-managed command.”

On Feb. 9, a family of five lost their home on Bolton Road to a fire that is believed to have originated in a basement woodstove or chimney.