Firefighters prepare to fight a residential fire near the corner of 20th Street NE and Okanagan Avenue after a call about 2 p.m. on Friday, April 1. Damage was confined to the basement but the tenants lost all their belongings. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)

Firefighters prepare to fight a residential fire near the corner of 20th Street NE and Okanagan Avenue after a call about 2 p.m. on Friday, April 1. Damage was confined to the basement but the tenants lost all their belongings. (Lachlan Labere - Salmon Arm Observer)

Tenants lose everything in April 1 Salmon Arm fire deemed accidental

Fire crews find smoke alarm disconnected in a second fire, this one in apartment on April 4

Friday, April 1 was a bad day for occupants of a home off Okanagan Avenue in Salmon Arm.

About 2 p.m., Salmon Arm firefighters were called to a residence just off 20th Avenue NE in the 2000 block of 1st Avenue NE.

Fire Chief Brad Shirley said when crews arrived, they found a bedroom on fire in the basement. The occupants were at home and had called 911.

“Crews were able to contain most of the fire to the bedroom unit but there was significant smoke and water damage to the basement,” Shirley said.

The fire was classified as accidental, he said, and investigators as well as an insurance investigation team were scheduled to be onsite April 4. The floor above was undergoing renovations so no one was occupying it, he explained.

Downstairs, all the occupants escaped safely, but they didn’t have tenant insurance so have lost everything. Shirley said the homeowner was insured.

Salmon Arm firefighters were busy again Sunday, April 3, when they responded to a call about 4:30 p.m.

The report came in as an apartment fire. Located off 4th Avenue SE between 5th and 3rd Streets SE, a third-floor suite was found filled with smoke due to a burned pot on the stove.

Shirley said the two occupants were out on the balcony but had suffered “quite a bit” of smoke inhalation. An ambulance was called and the residents were taken to hospital for a check up.

“It’s not the first time we’ve been there for a similar type call,” Shirley said. “Unfortunately they had their smoke alarm disconnected, so prior to us leaving we made sure it was functioning.”

Read more: 78-year-old veteran firefighter is 150th fully certified in Columbia-Shuswap region

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