Dean Wakefield

Dean Wakefield

Fire forces residents out of South Vernon homes

Firefighters on scene in the 1900 block of 44th Street Thursday morning

Occupants of a South Vernon townhouse complex were forced out by fire Thursday morning.

At about 7:30 a.m., fire was discovered in one of the units in the 1900 block of 44th Street and the residents in all four of the units fled.

“It’s a heck of a thing to wake up to and to have your kid on the other side (another unit,” said a woman.

When firefighters arrived, the blaze was fully involved in the upstairs bedroom of one of the units.

“There was one occupant in the building and we got the occupant out,” said Lawrie Skolrood, deputy fire chief.

Most of the fire was contained to one unit but it’s believed there may be fire and smoke damage in another unit.

Skolrood admits the design of the complex created challenges because the units are contiguous.

“In this area, they are older townhouses and you never just get one (unit),” he said, adding that the cedar siding acts as a fuel source.

“We got lucky on this one because it was reported early, It could have even far worse.”

It’s not believed Thursday’s blaze is connected to a recent rash of arson fires but the cause remains under investigation.