Helicopter helps douse Peachland fire

Fire crews battling back flames that razed a large waterfront home in Peachland got some help from above Monday afternoon.

"We have a relationship with Wildcat Helicopters and we spoke to them and they dropped a few loads from the helicopter onto the fire," said James Springer, the assistant fire chief for the Peachland fire department. "Now that they've done that we can extinguish the rest of the hotspots,"

It was the biggest break the department got fighting the Brent Road blaze which broke out and raged out of control some time before 5 a.m. May, 12.

"When we got there it was fully involved," said Springer

The whole house was on fire and Springer estimated that flames shot up as high as 80 feet from the roof.

"It's a very large house, big timbers and lots of wood," said Springer, explaining the flames had plenty to feed off of.

And, while the fire had lots working in its favour, the fire department had just as many hurdles to jump.

"The actual house was at the end of a long winding driveway," he said.

The Peachland water tender, and a water tender from West Kelowna as backup, parked above the driveway and pumped water down to the front line.

"The driveway was too windy for the trucks," Springer said.

Taking a defensive approach, all hoses were turned on the home.

The nearest neighbour was a couple hundred yards away, and Springer said they weren't in danger.

However, a piece of burning wood flew up in the air and landed on a house five doors north of the home that was burning down.

The biggest risk in that case was that the house it landed on had cedar shakes on the roof.

"That's one of the main reasons to not have cedar shakes," he said.

The fire was in the mop up stage by 2 p.m. Monday, and there's no word on what caused the house to ignite.

The owner of the home was out of country at the time of the fire, and nobody was staying in the house.

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