Fire crews are on scene in the 400 block of Fourth Avenue SE as smoke billows from a residential building. Motorists are advised to avoid the area. (Jim Elliot - Salmon Arm Observer)

Residents displaced following Salmon Arm apartment fire

Crews were called to the scene at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24

The residents of most units in a Salmon Arm apartment building haven’t been able to return home following a fire on Feb. 24.

Occupants of the building in the 400 block of 4th Avenue SE were evacuated onto the sidewalk as Salmon Arm as fire crews battled a blaze in a ground floor unit. Firefighters were called to the scene around 2:30 p.m. By the time they arrived, the fire in the suite was belching a column of grey smoke outside into the sky.

Firefighters could be seen spraying hoses into a ground floor window and

entering the smoke-filled building through its main entrance.

Salmon Arm Fire Chief Brad Shirley said crews responded quickly and were able to contain the fire to one unit. Although the flames were contained, the first floor of the building sustained water damage and both the first and second floors were damaged by smoke.

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Shirley said the cause is under investigation but the fire appears to have been accidental rather than suspicious at this time.

Because of the damage to the building’s first two floors, Shirley said only the residents of the third floor were able to return home the evening of the fire. He said the Shuswap Emergency Program was notified that people were displaced by the fire and set up a reception centre at the Fifth Avenue Seniors’ Centre a few blocks from the site of the fire. The emergency program coordinated food and accommodations for the displaced people.

Shirley said they would be able to return once a restoration company had cleaned up the building.

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