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North Okanagan man taken to hospital after rescue from house fire

A North Okanagan man had to be taken to hospital after a fire completely destroyed his house on Saturday afternoon.

BX Swan Lake Fire Rescue was deployed to a structure fire on Pleasant Valley Road around 2:30 p.m.

The fire department believes the blaze may have been started by a burn pile.

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Fire chief Bill Wacey said he was first on the scene, and when he arrived he found a two-story home fully engulfed by the fire and a rescue in process.

Two good Samaritans were helping the resident after pulling him out a window, Wacey said.

The resident suffered smoke inhalation and had to be taken to hospital.

Meanwhile, a vehicle near the house and trees were also in flames.

The blaze was already in the house’s eves when Wacey arrived and the fire spread quickly in the old wooden building with sawdust insulation.

Read more:
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“We fought a bit of a losing battle trying to stop it,” Wacey said.

The flames spread to the home’s attic and an excavator was called in to take down the walls to help firefighters get at the flames.

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“The house was unsafe for any of us to enter so we did a surround-and-drown technique until an excavator could come in and pull the walls apart for us so we could put it out,” Wacey said.

The fire chief said the housefire started outside the building.

“There was a burn pile that was there that was being worked on all day, according to the neighbours. So at this moment in time, it looks like that might have been the point of origin of the fire,” Wacey said.

The home was completely destroyed.

The fire sparked as the temperature in the Vernon area jumped above 20 degrees, so the fire chief was thankful that the Armstrong Spallumcheen Fire Department provided mutual aid.

“It was the hottest day of the year and in full turnout gear it doesn’t take long for people to start getting exhausted so it was nice to have Armstrong come in with manpower and a tender,” Wacey said.

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