Deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood looks over the charred items from a storage area

Deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood looks over the charred items from a storage area

Flames force out residents

Residents of apartment building in Mission Hill area still waiting to go home following Monday morning fire

Residents of a Mission Hill apartment building forced out of their home for Thanksgiving are still waiting to get back into their homes.

A fire broke out at the Royal Apartments in the 3400 block of 21st Avenue Monday at approximately 4 a.m.

“I was up, watching TV at the time,” said James Brindley, who lives in one of the approximately 17 units and returned Tuesday to check on his cats who have been in hiding from all the commotion. “I looked out the kitchen window and saw the fire truck and smoke.”

The fire started in a storage area in a crawlspace, but was quickly contained by firefighters.

The units were not damaged by fire but Brindley says the smell of smoke is still evident throughout the building.

“It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be,” he said of the fire damage, as some neighbours reported seeing huge flames.

Vernon deputy fire chief Lawrie Skolrood adds: “It was fairly minor relative to what it could have been.”

Approximately seven tenants of the building are being housed by Emergency Social Services while the owner works with a restoration company and insurance investigators to get them back in to their homes.

A cause of the fire may never be known as fire investigators could not pinpoint a source in a pile of charred items pulled from the storage area.

Monday’s apartment fire was followed by another fire later in the evening.

A small blaze was started from a clothes dryer in a home in the 4300 block of 20th Street Monday at approximately 11:30 p.m.

“It was a small fire but there was extensive smoke damage to the living area,” said deputy fire chief Jack Blair.

A fire was also sparked from a fireplace in a condo Friday morning in the 4000 block of 24th Avenue.

“A box that had been left in front of the gas fireplace had caught on fire,” said Blair. “Fortunately the smoke alarm alerted everybody and the owner was able to douse it with some water.”