An Enderby firefighter was killed battling a blaze at Sperlich Log Construction early Thursday morning following an explosion in a shed on site. Another firefighter was injured during the incident.

Volunteer firefighter killed on duty in Enderby

Incident occurs after explosion at Sperlich Log Construction

The death of an on-duty volunteer firefighter in an explosion at a local business has rocked Enderby.

Daniel Botkin, listed as age 29 by the B.C. Coroners Service, was killed battling a blaze at Sperlich Log Construction in the 200 block of Brickyard Road that broke out just before 4 a.m. Thursday.

“Shortly after 5 a.m., it appeared the fire was under control when there was an explosion in a shed on the site,” said Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.

“The explosion took the life of one of the volunteer firefighters on scene and it injured a second one.”

The injured firefighter was treated at the scene for non-life-threatening injuries.

Botkin and the injured firefighter are two of 24 volunteer members of the Enderby Fire Department.

Enderby Mayor Howie Cyr went down to the scene when he got the word early Thursday.

“Upon learning that we lost one of our firefighters, it was just an unbelievable, horrific feeling,” said Cyr.

“My heart goes out to his family and to the firefighters, his colleagues. They’re a close-knit bunch of guys who work together and train together.”

Cyr said the news would hit the community hard.

“I’ve been around here for 19 years and everybody knows everybody around here,” he said.

“Something like this is always tragic, but in a town this size, it’s just magnified. It’s unbelievable.”

Nobody was working at the time the fire broke out, but several employees were on hand to witness the aftermath, though they declined to speak to The Morning Star.

The first employees were scheduled to be at work at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and the operation had shut down before 4 p.m. Wednesday.

The cause of the fire and explosion had not been released prior to The Morning Star’s deadline.

Ray Baumbach lives on neighbouring Baird Avenue. He woke up like he regularly does at 4 a.m. and was playing on his computer when he heard a loud bang.

“My chair shook and rolled away on me and I was wondering what happened,” said Baumbach.

“The next thing I know, I hear sirens going off. I got dressed and came over to have a look. The flames were coming up out of the building.”

The fire destroyed the timber-framed, open-ended structure with aluminum and wood roof, along with a log home being constructed for an overseas client.

According to the industry website, Sperlich Log Construction “is a premium, second-generation Canadian log home builder.”

The company, which has been around Enderby for least 20 years, has been erecting quality log houses and post and beam structures in Canada, Japan and Germany for more than 10 years.

The B.C. Coroners Service and the RCMP continue to work with the Fire Commissioner and WorkSafe B.C. to determine the cause of the fire and explosion.


Just Posted

Coldstream rainbow crosswalk defaced

Vandals cover colours with white paint sometime overnight Saturday

Okanagan-Shuswap Weather: Summer sun for Sunday

The forecast for the week ahead shows some rain but plenty of sun and warm tempertures.

Dragon boats help fundbreast cancer treatment at Vernon hospital

The Dragon Boat Festival at Swan Lake on July 13 raised $2,020 for VJHF

Our History In Pictures

Band entertains crowd at downtown Vernon Eaton’s in 1960

Vernon speaker to motivate Cariboo residents after mill shutdowns

Change management speaker Mark DeVolder will deliver town hall keynote in 100 Mile House

When walls talk: Vernon murals see generation II

“This new movement, an app, will bring the strength of some of those same Vernon visionaries together again into a newdigital form”

Police on scene at Penticton beach

RCMP were at a what is believed to be a crime scene near Skaha Beach Sunday

Community service ordered for Princeton man who stole from firefighters

A young man who stole food and money from the Princeton Volunteer… Continue reading

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Hespeler had connection to Mennonite migration

Home in Summerland was built in 1907, moved when the highway was changed

Most Read