Kamloops This Week - Dave Eagles

No injuries after three simultaneous house fires spark in Kamloops

It’s unclear how the fires started

  • Jul. 31, 2020 4:39 p.m.

-Kamloops This Week

Seven people have been displaced after three homes in Rayleigh simultaneously burned Friday afternoon.

Emergency crews were called to the neighbourhood along the Yellowhead Highway just before 2:30 p.m. for a trio of house fires that sparked one after the other.

Firefighters responded initially to a home fully engulfed in flames at 4831 Aspen Park Dr. on the west side of Spurraway Drive. That fire quickly spread to a second house next door at 4843 Aspen Park Dr. and, within a half hour, firefighters were on their way to a third house in flames about two blocks away on Reighmount Drive — located on the east side of Spurraway.

All occupants of the homes were accounted for and no one sustained any injuries in the fires.

Rayleigh resident Jake St. Germain was in the backyard of his Reighmount Drive a few doors away from where the third fire sparked when he noticed smoke coming from Aspen Park Drive.

He said he ran over to see the first home and it’s carport up in flames, adding that he saw the gas tank and tires of a truck in the driveway explode.

“Then the neighbour’s house was starting to catch fire, too — roof to roof,” St. Germain said, noting about 40 people were watching from the street.

He said he ran into the yard of that second house to remove a dog from the property, having stepped up when he heard people hollering about the canine companion.

St. Germain said he then noticed smoke billowing from Reighmount Drive.

“I thought it was my house, so I just ran,” he said, noting the fire turned out to be a few doors away.

A KTW reporter on scene at the time said he could see smoke pouring out of a vent near the peak of the Reighmount Drive house. He said flames seemed to be building at the rear of the home on the upper floor. He also saw flames on the back deck of the home and noticed what appeared to be a length of one or more electrical extension cords draped on the upper deck.

Kamloops Fire Rescue appeared to have all three house fires extinguished by the late afternoon with many fire trucks and ambulances still on scene at about 5:30 p.m.

RCMP victim services was also on scene liaising with the displaced residents.

KFR Assistant Chief Robb Schoular said firefighters had arrived on scene to find the first home in flames that had already spread to the second, neighbouring home.

The back half of the first home was severely damaged by fire, while the second home’s attic and kitchen were damaged, he said.

About 25 minutes after arriving, KFR received word of the fire on nearby Reighmount and was able to dispatch an engine crew to fight that fire.

Schoular said it’s rare to have to fight two separate house fires at the same time.

St. Germain, who’s called Rayleigh home for about 15 years, said he’s never seen that many fires occur at once, adding he contemplated the notion that someone had gone around the neighbourhood and set them deliberately.

“It’s pretty nuts that two would happen within half an hour, it’s quite the coincidence,” he said. “Crazy day, quiet neighbourhood, you definitely don’t get this.”

Kamloops RCMP said it’s unclear if the two fires are related, and Schoular said the causes are undetermined at this time, noting investigators were just arriving on scene at about 5:30 p.m.

Five residents between the two homes on Aspen Park Drive — three in one home and two from another — have been displaced by the fire as were two people who lived at the home on Reighmount Drive, Schoular said.

St. Germain said an elderly couple reside at the Reighmount Drive home that caught fire.

“Super nice old couple,” St. Germain said.

While no humans were injured in the fires, one of three dogs between the residences remains unaccounted for, Schoular said.

READ MORE: Police watchdog clears RCMP of wrongdoing in West Kelowna man’s death

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

fire

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Morning Start: Tomato juice won’t fix getting skunked

Your morning start for Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020

Crankworx comes to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort

The event normally takes place at Whistler, but has taken to the road in light of COVID-19

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

VIDEO: Vegan, gluten-free bakery moves into new space after COVID-19 closure

Jaide and Joel’s Bakery, now True North Bakehouse, is starting fresh

North Okanagan crews quick to douse truck fire

BC Day blaze damages truck on 20th Street

Dwindling B.C. bamboo supply leaves Calgary Zoo biologists worried about pandas

Zoo has been trying to send pandas back to China since May

Dinosaurs revived for animatronic auction in Langley

More than 500 robot dinosaurs, fossils, and exhibition gear are going on the block Aug. 6

Wildfire burns near Okanagan Connector

All lanes are now open on Highway 97C

B.C. paramedics responded to a record-breaking 2,700 overdose calls in July

Province pledges $10.5 million for expansion of overdose prevention response

Canada signs deals with Pfizer, Moderna to get doses of COVID-19 vaccines

Earlier in July both Pfizer and Moderna reported positive results from smaller trials

Canucks tame Minnesota Wild 4-3 to even NHL qualifying series

J.T. Miller leads Vancouver with goal and an assist

Cyclist in hospital after being hit by load of lumber hanging from truck on B.C. highway

A man is in hospital with broken ribs, punctured lung and a broken clavicle and scapula

Most Read