Residents flee Vernon apartment blaze

Firefighters remain on scene of a major apartment building fire on Vernon’s Hospital Hill.



Firefighters remain on scene of a major apartment building fire on Vernon’s Hospital Hill.

Flames and smoke engulfed the structure on 31A Street at about 5 a.m. Friday, forcing about 52 people to flee into temperatures that dipped to -17.

“As soon as the guys left the department, they could see it,” said Dean Wakefield, fire investigator.

Firefighters from Vernon, Okanagan Landing, BX-Swan Lake and Coldstream converged on the scene.

“We’re protecting exposures,” said Lawrie Skolrood, Vernon deputy fire chief.

Emergency Social Services personnel also responded and tenants were being sheltered in the Vernon Jubilee Hospital cafeteria.

A cause for the fire has not yet been determined.

See more details in Sunday’s Morning Star.