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UPDATE: Fire investigation underway into blaze at Powley Court Townhome complex
A dozen Lake Country residents spent Sunday night in hotel rooms after six townhomes were damaged and two vehicles destroyed in a fire at a townhouse complex on Powley Court in Lake Country.
Fire officials say no one was injured in the blaze which began around noon Sunday in a vehicle, spread to a second vehicle before jumping to a townhome.
"The call came in as a car fire initially," said Lake Country fire chief Steven Windsor. "The vehicle was against the side of a building and it had jumped from the vehicle to another vehicle and then onto the townhouse. There is considerable fire damage to the one unit, smoke and water damage to the adjoining unit and smoke damage to the next four units."
Residents from the affected townhomes were displaced from their residences Sunday, according to Windsor.
"Emergency social services put up 12 people in hotel rooms," he said. "In four of the six units they will likely get back in, in the next day or so. The other two with water and smoke damage will be longer. The one that suffered the most fire damage will be quite a long term re-build project."
Fire as well as insurance investigators remained on the scene on Monday, digging through the charred remains of the vehicles as well as the townhomes to try and pinpoint a cause. The initial investigation after speaking to witnesses indicated that the fire began in one of the cars, said Windsor. He said they should know more early this week once the investigators have completed their investigation.
Six fire-trucks and 20 firefighters responded to the blaze and Windsor said crews did well to knock the fire down before it spread further.
"Anytime you are dealing with multi-family units you are affecting a large number of people," said Windsor. "In this case there are 16 units and the Lake Country lofts are next door so if things had gone badly we could have been impacting that building. I thought ii was a very quick and good knock-down. The unit was sprinklered inside and the fire set off the sprinklers which gave us a good helping hand. It was very big fire initially but the crews got it knocked down."
The two-storey townhomes had a shared attic space, which is one reason there was excessive smoke and water damage to four of the six units furthest away from the blaze.