Family, dogs escape Rutland house fire

Tammie O
Tammie O'Rielly is treated for smoke inhalation after a fire started in the basement of her father's McKenzie Road home Thursday afternoon.
— image credit: Wade Paterson/Capital News

Twenty-three-year-old Sol O'Rielly and his mother, Tammie, were working on their computers Thursday afternoon when the sound of fire alarms caught their attention.

"We're staying with my 87-year-old dad…he has alarms all over the house," said Tammie.

"(I) thought: Maybe he's testing alarms again."

Tammie's first instinct was to check the area of the basement where her father builds radio-controlled airplanes as a hobby.

"I went down into his workshop…there were flames all over.

"I screamed at my son (to) get my dad, get 911 called, get the dogs out."

Sol, who was upstairs in his bedroom, immediately called 911 and got himself, as well as their two pet dogs, out of the house. His grandfather was already out of the house when the fire started.

Tammie located a fire extinguisher and sprayed the flames; however, she said she breathed in "a big dose of smoke" while doing so. She was later treated for smoke inhalation by BC Ambulance Service.

"It was pretty nerve-racking," said Sol.

Kelowna firefighters arrived at the McKenzie Road residence shortly after and were able to knock down the blaze, which left extensive damage downstairs and smoke damage throughout the house.

According to Kelowna Fire Department platoon captain Dale Calhoun, it appeared as if the fire was caused by charging batteries.

"It started in and around a hobby area that has a bunch of batteries in there. So we're kind of figuring that's what started the fire," said Calhoun.

Tammie said the house is insured.

Twitter: @PatersonWade


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