Kelowna's emergency services busy over weekend

A weekend basement fire had no human casualties, but a household pet did die of smoke inhalation.

A report of fire was called in to police just before 10 a.m., Sunday.

" On arrival dark smoke was seen coming from the rear of the house.  The residence of the upper suite was outside and stated that the fire was coming from the basement suite and that the resident was not home at the time of the fire,"  said Lawrence Serres, Platoon Captain

Kelowna Fire Department

"When an attack crew entered they found a fire in a garbage container and on the couch.  They extinguished the fire and performed a search of the residence as two cats were said to be inside.  They found one cat and brought it outside, it was given oxygen and survived, the second cat was found a few minutes later and attempts to resuscitate the cat were in vain"

The smoke was cleared from the house, fire damage was contained to the basement but smoke damage was throughout the house.

Serres said assistance  was offered to the residents but at this time they stated they will stay with friends.  The fire is under investigation to determine a cause.

The upstairs resident was alerted to the fire by a smoke alarm.  Occupants of the house both have insurance.  Due to the residents having a working smoke alarm it helped minimize the damage the fire caused, no dollar estimate of how much the damage will cost.

Crews from two Engines, one Rescue and the command vehicle were used at this fire scene for a total of 12 fire fighters.

Drinking and driving

Just minutes after a media event ended highlighting the kick-off to the Counterattack campaign in the Central Okanagan, police caught their first alleged impaired driver.

Const. Kris Clark, Media Relations Officer for the Kelowna RCMP, was returning from a Counterattack media event on Leon Avenue and about to turn onto Ellis Street, when he alleges that he was was nearly struck by a southbound Subaru that failed to stop for the red light.

He said he then initiated a traffic stop in a parking lot at the corner of Harvey Avenue and Ellis Street and requested a second member attend with a violation ticket.

While Clark attended to the first driver, a member of the Central Okanagan Traffic Services, stopped a PT Cruiser for an expired plate in the same parking lot.

"The officer noted symptoms of impairment on the second driver and a demand was made for her to submit to a roadside test," said Clark.

"The 44 year old Kelowna woman was taken into custody after failing to provide a breath sample as required," he said.

Police seized a half-empty bottle of wine from the woman's purse and police records checks revealed her to be prohibited from driving due to a previous impaired offence.

"The consequences of impaired driving can significantly impact your life and the lives of others. You can be charged criminally and the ripple effect on you, your family and friends could be huge," said Clark. "We encourage everyone to get a safe ride home and designate a sober driver."

The 59 year old Armstrong woman was issued a violation ticket for Failing to Stop at a Red Light which carries a $167 fine.

The  Kelowna woman, 44, faces charges of Fail or Refuse to Provide a Sample and Drive While Prohibited. She was issued a violation ticket for No Insurance which carries at $598 fine and her vehicle was impounded. She was subsequently released on an Appearance Notice for Court on January 29, 2014.

"Impaired driving can happen at any time, day or night and we will be ramping up our road checks over the holiday season to target this dangerous behaviour. If you plan on drinking, please do not drive," said Clark.


The trial date for a man charged with murdering his mother is still in the offing.

The courts were to set a trial date for Connor Grossmith Monday, but Crown counsel asked for a postponement that would allow further psychological analysis be conducted.

The case is scheduled to be back in court Dec. 16.

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