A hedge went up in flames at the Tamarack building on 27th Avenue Friday morning, but was quickly extinguished by Vernon Fire Rescue. (Krista Schafer photo)

A hedge went up in flames at the Tamarack building on 27th Avenue Friday morning, but was quickly extinguished by Vernon Fire Rescue. (Krista Schafer photo)

Hedge fire at Vernon apartment ‘suspicious’

A hedge fire was quickly extinguished by the fire department early this morning

A hedge fire was quickly extinguished by the fire department early this morning at the Tamarack building on 27th Ave.

“It looks a bit suspicious,” said Capt. Doug Imrich of the Vernon Fire Department. “When we arrived, half the hedge was fully engulfed. We have had reports of a person leaving the scene just after the fire started so we passed it on to the RCMP and they’ve had the investigation started.”

The fire department is not yet sure how the fire originated, but residents of a neighbouring apartment building said they witnessed a “homeless woman” loitering in the parking lot and when told to leave she sparked the blaze.

“He (one of the tenants) saw her light it,” said Karen Hudema, manager of the neighbouring Westmount Apartments.

Witnesses report the woman wasn’t wearing shoes and she was under the influence of drugs.

The fire was a wake-up call for Krista Schafer, who is staying at Westmount with her parents, visiting from Washington.

“She woke up with smoke coming into the room,” said dad Scott Schafer. “She heard someone calling help.”

Krista was among many who called 911 and prompted a quick response from Vernon Fire Rescue.

“When we arrived half the hedge was fully engulfed,” said Imrich. “The flames were 20 feet high.”

But it didn’t take long for crews to knock down the blaze.

“Good reaction, I’m very happy, very proud of everybody,” said Hudema.


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jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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Vernon Fire Rescue Captain Doug Imrich surveys the blackened hedges following a fire Friday morning in the 3700 block of 27th Avenue. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)

Vernon Fire Rescue Captain Doug Imrich surveys the blackened hedges following a fire Friday morning in the 3700 block of 27th Avenue. (Jennifer Smith/Morning Star)