The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)

The aftermath of the 3 a.m. fire in Keremeos. (Keremeos Fire Department)

Fire and explosion wakes Keremeos residents

A motorhome was consumed and a boat severely damaged after the 3 a.m. fire

Residents of a Keremeos apartment complex were jolted out of bed by an explosion and fire early Thursday morning, Dec. 3.

A camper outside of an apartment complex on Boundary Road, south of Highway 3, caught fire before spreading to a nearby boat.

“The motorhome was destroyed, the boat was severely damaged, the siding on the corner of the building was melted and the deck was starting to catch on fire,” said Keremeos Fire chief Jordy Bosscha.

Fifteen firefighters, two engines, a rescue truck and a utility vehicle responded to the fire when the call came in at around 3:30 a.m., bringing the blaze under control in about 20 minutes. After mop up and clean up, firefighters cleared the scene after two hours.

“We were given notice in time to get there and save the building,” said Bosscha. “Usually it’s saving the foundation or the chimney at that time of day.”

READ MORE: Explosion after early morning fire in Olalla

There was at least one explosion during the fire.

“The tires definitely did blow, because the people were standing around talking and one was saying there’s propane in there. As soon as they said propane there was a loud explosion that sent them running,” said Bosscha. “Fortunately, it was just a tire on the vehicle.”

No injuries were reported at the fire, outside of some residents being treated for smoke inhalation. Residents at the apartment complex rallied to keep the blaze from spreading after the initial explosion.

“They didn’t have any garden hoses, so they were filling up buckets with water in their shower and tubs,” said Bosscha. “A bucket brigade, throwing buckets of water on the deck and the building.”

The motorhome was being used for a resident’s main source of transit but was not being used as a residence prior to the fire, according to Bosscha. The apartment complex is still habitable.

The source of the fire is believed to have been in the motorhome, however, the exact cause is not yet known.

The fire remains under investigation.

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