BX-Swan Lake Fire Department (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

Fire evicts Vernon family from ‘heavily damaged’ home

Late night BX blaze sparked in basement, came up through main floor

A little more than a week before Christmas and a local family has lost their home to a fire.

BX Swan Lake firefighters were called to a blaze around 11 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 16 on 25th Avenue, near Francis Street.

“The homeowner had just gone to bed and he and his kids were upstairs,” fire chief Bill Wacey said. “He thought he smelled something burning and then the smoke detector started going off. Which goes to show the importance of smoke detectors.”

Firefighters arrived to find a heavily involved fire in the basement.

Ontop of temperatures dipping to -15 celsius, crews faced some major challenges as the home was older and had several renovations.

“The floor became compromised above plus all the wiring and a gas line came loose so we had gas venting in the basement,” Wacey said.

A water line main also burst and filled up the basement with three feet of water.

Firefighters were finally able to return the hall, and eventually their beds, around 8:30 a.m. But not before another call came in of someone illegally burning.

The house fire isn’t believed to be suspicious in nature and the point of origin is in the basement.

But the home is heavily damaged and unlivable at the moment.

That stretch of 25th Avenue, above Vernon Secondary School, has seen a number of house fires.

“We’ve actually had four structure fires on that stretch of road over the years,” Wacey said.

READ MORE: Firefighters respond to Vernon house fire

READ MORE: Cold weather sparks increase in warming fires in Vernon


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