A garage shop on Ravine Drive in Coldstream is burning hot and the 20-foot shop is filled with fuels, chemicals and piles of cedar.
Fire crews were called just before 3 p.m. after a neighbour called in with reports of black smoke. The caller said she could see flames coming from a crack in the door of the building, which is still under construction.
When crews arrived, temperatures from the shop were recorded at 43 Celsius. Coldstream deputy fire Chief Colin O’Hara said the hottest the shop registered was 275 C.
Firefighters are attending to a garage fire on Ravine Road in Coldstream. The smoke has died down, but they’ve been hesitant to open the garage doors, likely in case there’s a backdraft. pic.twitter.com/9hF1kp6HZw
— Vernon Morning Star (@VernonNews) November 19, 2019
“We’re just going to sit and wait on it and try to let it do it’s thing,” he said. “It’s looking for oxygen and if we break a window or give it that oxygen, we’re going to have ourselves one heck of a fireworks show and we don’t really want that.”
The building, which is still showing back draft conditions, has been deemed unsafe to enter and temperatures are registering around 175 C to 200 C.
O’Hara said firefighters will wait until the fire starves itself out and temperatures drop back into the 20s before they “really feel comfortable.”
“For us, it’s about our members and having everyone go home to their families,” he said. “If we break a window or a door, we’re putting ourselves at risk and putting our members at risk and at the end of the day it’s life first and property second.”
BC Ambulance responded to the scene and is on standby to support the firefighters as a precautionary measure.
“I know it’s tough for neighbours and homeowners to see us doing nothing,” O’Hara said. “But it’s the safest thing.”