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Busy long weekend for firefighters

Alarm bells are ringing over a busy long weekend, but specifically Victoria Day, for Vernon firefighters.

Crews helped clean up an alleged drug lab, attended two motor vehicle accidents (including extricating one occupant), knocked down a blaze in a vacant house, snuffed out some smouldering railway ties, attended several dumpster fires, doused a burning outhouse and extinguished a kitchen fire.

The first fire took place Friday, shortly before midnight, in a pile of railway ties in the 4400 block of 31st St.

“A fire had gotten inside the ties,” said Jack Blair, deputy chief of operations. “It’s being investigated.”

Then Monday the sirens hardly had a break between incidents (including two accidents, one at Okanagan Avenue and Myriad Road where an extraction was needed).

One of the more concerning incidents took place at Turtle Mountain, where a portable outhouse was set ablaze Monday morning. Crews knocked down the blaze, which also included two piles of pallets, on Terrapin Place.

The porta-potty was located on a curb near a construction site and was destroyed.

“The porta-potty had melted completely,” according to RCMP files. “The only remnant was a pool of plastic and four sticks of rebar.”

Blair adds: “Again, our investigators are investigating that one also.”

A structure fire is also under investigation, which crews were called out to just before midnight Monday.

The single storey, vacant, boarded up building is located at 24th Avenue and 34 A Street.

“It appears the fire started in the rear of the building,” said Blair. “(Crews) knocked it down and managed to stop it from spreading.”

The house fire, among other incidents, have sparked concern among emergency officials.

“This was the second Vernon area vacant building fire in a week, coupled with two recent dumpster fires in the same south end of the city,” said Gord Molendyk, RCMP spokesperson.

“The police and the Vernon Fire Department are very concerned about this rash of fires and are asking anyone who has any information about them to call the Vernon RCMP (250-545-7171) or the Vernon Fire Department (250-550-3569) or Crime Stoppers (1-800-222-8477). The fires are being investigated as arsons.”

Firefighters also assisted the RCMP Monday in a hazmat cleanup at a suspected synthetic drug lab near Ashton Creek,

There was also an early-morning call to the Ministry of Forests building on 14th Avenue.

The call came after a security guard noticed smoke coming from the building, which came from a fire in the kitchen area due to an electrical short circuit in one of the appliances.

 

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