Close call: Volunteer firefighters protect the interface adjoining a Tappen Valley Road property where an older two-storey residence was totally consumed by fire Monday.

Vacant house destroyed

Fire totally destroyed a wooden residence in the 400 block of Tappen Valley Road Monday

Fire totally destroyed a wooden residence in the 400 block of  Tappen Valley Road Monday morning, leaving no evidence of what started the blaze.

“There is a degree of suspicion just because of the time,” said Tappen-Sunnybrae Fire Chief Kenn Mount, noting the alarm was called in at 1:30 a.m. Oct. 17. “By the time we arrived, there was no building to protect. We were just protecting the interface, containing the fire and preventing growth. About six trees were definitely scorched and burned halfway up.”

That wasn’t the only concern firefighters had to deal with when they arrived to find the two-storey, wooden structure fully engulfed.

“It was a very dangerous fire as there was a live downed power line, so we could only attack part of the structure,” says Mount, who notes the house appeared to be vacant. “Flames were shooting up some 20 feet above the second storey.”

Fourteen Tappen-Sunnybrae firefighters were on scene for about eight hours, aided by eight Shuswap Firefighters, who arrived with two water trucks and a command vehicle.

Once BC Hydro crews arrived, firefighters were able to knock down the fire completely.

“The crews did a good job managing the fire,” Mount added.

While he said it didn’t look like there were many items in the interior of the house, there was a boat, lawn tractor and bike in the adjoining carport.

Ambulance, first responders and RCMP showed up on scene to make certain there were no people trapped inside, says Mount, who notes it was difficult to pin down an actual address, with the call apparently coming in from someone driving along the Trans-Canada Highway.

“It was not well marked but we could see the glow from it from Sunnybrae as we were rolling out of the fire department,” he says.

Columbia Shuswap Regional District Fire Services co-ordinator Jack Blair says the RCMP will be investigating ownership of the residence.


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