An attic fire in a rural Lumby rental complex has left six families displaced since Nov. 19 while they waited for power to be restored. (Google Maps image)

An attic fire in a rural Lumby rental complex has left six families displaced since Nov. 19 while they waited for power to be restored. (Google Maps image)

Attic fire displaces North Okanagan renters for more than a month

Six separate units forced out of their home Nov. 19, hoping to be back in 2021

Six families forced from their flats for more than a month are hopeful they can ring in the new year back home.

An electrical fire was sparked in the attic of a rural Lumby building Nov. 19, near the Rouck Bros. Sawmill.

Each of the tenants, plus the owner residing in one of the units, had to leave as power could not be restored.

“We’re not sure when we’ll be home,” renter Cheyenne Leo said.

Leo lived with her mom in the Highway 6 building for nearly 20 years.

They, along with the other tenants, were displaced by the incident and put up by Red Cross at a hotel in Vernon.

Most have since found temporary housing as they wait to return home.

“We were supposed to be in by the 15th but there keeps being delays,” said Leo, who also has parrots back at the house which they check on every couple days to refresh light batteries and food.

Landowner Richard Jensen and his common-law partner Diana Lock have been equally frustrated by the delays to have power restored.

“We’ve waited for so long,” Lock said.

But they received news Dec. 22 that BC Hydro would finally be hooking power back up and they can work to restore the units.

“So we can get our tenants back in soon, probably before the new year,” Lock said.

Jensen has owned the property, which is between Lumby and Cherryville, for 37 years and this is the second such incident.

It was caused by a logging truck hitting the power line that feeds the property, as the line hangs low.

“I’m so thankful that the fire department, Lumby and Lavington came out right away,” said Lock.

Leo is hopeful 2021 will start off back home, but she’s not holding her breath.

“In the end, it looks like we’re going to be OK and will be able to go home,” Leo said. “It’s all just so stressful.”

READ MORE: More staff needed to maintain Lumby’s Salmon Trail

READ MORE: Cherryville helping family who lost everything in fire


@VernonNews
jennifer@vernonmorningstar.com

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