A house condemned by the City of Enderby April 10 was significantly damaged in a fire Tuesday afternoon.
In a release issued by the city late Tuesday afternoon, the house in Enderby’s north end, in the 1900 block of George Street, along Highway 97A, was condemned under the city’s safe premises bylaw due to the presence of controlled substances and hazardous conditions observed the during the apprehension by RCMP of a wanted person.
After the city threatened legal action to enforce the order made under its safe premises bylaw, the property owners required the occupants to vacate.
As the occupants were in the process Tuesday of removing some of their possessions, the Enderby and District Fire Department responded to a structure fire involving the condemned building.
Fire Chief Cliff Vetter said the occupants had been moving and gone to get something to eat. When they returned to the home around 1 p.m., they noticed a fire. One man sleeping on an upstairs couch was awakened by the fire and got out of the premises safely.
The fire department contained the blaze to the home’s basement.
“There is a lot of smoke damage and some water damage,” said Vetter. “Most of the damage was in the basement. We had to remove part of a wall where the flames got inside, but we were able to save the building. A fire investigation is pending.”
Vetter said Tuesday there was nothing to indicate the fire was suspicious, and believed it may have started due to an electrical problem.
Enderby Mayor Greg McCune said it was the city’s finding that the home contained a number of hazardous conditions that made it unfit for habitation.
“The action to condemn the building only could have happened with strong cooperation between the city and RCMP,” said McCune. “At this point, we do not know the cause of the fire for certain, but this serious situation could have been much worse, and potentially tragic.”