Fire consumed not one, not two, but three homes early Thursday morning.
A blaze broke out at a duplex in Lavington at approximately 3:45 a.m., in the 9900 block of Park Lane, destroying the two residences there.
And just hours later, flames were roaring out the windows of a BX rental home.
The Lavington duplex was not occupied but three residents were inside the BX rental home, in the 5200 block of Silver Star Road.
“They got out but lost everything,” said BX-Swan Lake Fire Chief Bill Wacey, who suspects the home is a complete loss.
Firefighters received the call at 5:40 a.m. and despite getting on scene within minutes, the home was fully engulfed by flames.
“It had already blown out through the windows, that’s how fast it took off,” said Wacey, adding that the blaze is not suspicious as it’s believed to have started in the kitchen from a wall-mounted space heater near the fridge.
Neighbouring resident Ben Smith was on scene even before the fire trucks had arrived, after the noise of contents exploding inside the home darted him out of bed.
“I heard all this banging and thought it was gunshots,” said Smith, who immediately called 911 after discovering the fire and rushed over to ensure no one was inside the home or in an adjacent rental unit.
Thankfully, tenants in the home got out safely thanks to their smoke detector alerting them to the situation.
In fact, they had just received the smoke detector through a recent Fire Prevention Week initiative with the local fire department and Domino’s Pizza delivering the devices to local homes.
“That was the one that they had sitting on the kitchen table, they hadn’t even installed it but it was working and it was going off,” said Wacey.
While the building was insured through the landowner, it’s unknown if the tenants had contents insurance.
Three vehicles were also damaged from the blaze and a cat could not be located.
The Lavington blaze is also believed to be a total loss.
“There’s really not much there to salvage,” said Coldstream Fire Chief Shane Code, adding that a cause of the fire is still being investigated.
The structure is actually two mobile-type homes connected by a carport in an ‘H’ alignment.
“It (the fire) was fully involved in both buildings,” said Code, adding that flames were visible within several miles.
Visit www.vernonmorningstar.com for video and full photo coverage of the BX house fire.