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Armstrong firefighters go out of their way to douse house fire

Trailer destroyed, could have been ‘catastrophic’
The Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department went out of their way (and out of their jurisdiction) to douse a house fire in an unprotected area early Sunday morning. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)

A close call for some Salmon River Road residents was quickly doused thanks to neighbours and firefighters who went out of their way, and jurisdiction.

A mobile trailer home went up in flames early Sunday morning, around 1:30 a.m.

“It was a trailer fire that went into the trees and across the road,” Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Chief Ian Cummings said.

The blaze was half an acre in size when the first of three fire trucks arrived on scene. But it could have been a lot worse.

“The fire had potential to be catastrophic,” Cummings said.

Even more so by the fact that the area is unprotected by fire services.

“We were notified that no other fire departments were going to respond because it was out of everyone’s district,” said Cummings, who made the call to attend the fire.

“Due to the conditions we have right now it was better to action the fire.”

The trailer, which is believed to have been occupied, was completely destroyed. There were other homes nearby but crews managed to contain the blaze.

The fire did spread into the trees and jumped the road into a field. Firefighters showed up in time to help neighbours who were actioning the blaze.

“They figured they were on their own to fight the fire,” Cummings said. “They did a great job, they supplied us with extra water and had some tractors come in to extinguish the fire in the field.”

Neighbours are also grateful that the Armstrong Spallumcheen department came to the rescue.

“The quick response time to the location on Salmon River Road, near Yankee Flats, was crucial in containing the fire,” one neighbour said.

Another said it saved their home.

Since the fire was out of any local fire department jurisdiction, BC Wildfire Service was called to action the blaze.

“They were a little over an hour after us,” said Cummings of the crew that came from Salmon Arm.

Considering how busy wildfire crews are right now, along with all fire departments, Cummings is glad his crew could assist.

“I just wanted to make sure we attacked it, actioned it while it was small.”

It was fairly windy at the time, and conditions were hot and dry.

With one of their own tenders in Lytton right now and some members working for BC Wildfire Service, Cummings is worried about the season ahead.

“It’s a huge concern just because of the heat and we’ve got a whole summer ahead of us,” he said.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

20-year-Morning Star veteran
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