UPDATE: 8 p.m.
A home in West Kelowna suffered extensive damage and may be beyond repair, after a fire on the 2100 block of Madera Court, a duplex off of Sonoma Pines Drive, at about 5 p.m.
Fire officials have knocked down the blaze, but remain on the scene dampening down hot spots in the attic of the duplex. Crews confirmed no one was home at the time of the blaze and the house has been searched and was vacant.
Assistant fire chief Darren Lee of West Kelowna Fire Rescue said it was a challenging blaze in the attic of the duplex that took 20 to 30 minutes before it was brought under control.
“When (the first crew) got on scene they had a well-involved attic fire and garage fire,” said Lee. “They tried to get a knock-down on the fire in the garage which they got. The fire in the roof proved a little more challenging because the roof had a number of steps in it so it was tough to get into every cell to get the fire knocked down in there.”
At the height of the fire, close to 30 firefighters were on scene as the second crew to arrive, protected the side of the duplex, making sure it didn’t spread.
“The heat did get towards the eaves and the crew did a great job of recognizing that,” said Lee. “So the first line hit the attic and the second line started to protect that exposure. We did go up in the attic of the other house and check it to make sure nothing was smouldering up there.”
Special precautions were taken to protect firefighters from the temperatures that were in excess of 33 C. Firefighters rotated through a rehabilitation station that was set-up and operated by WKFR personnel and BC Ambulance Paramedics.
Lee said there is nothing to point to a cause and said West Kelowna Fire as well as the RCMP will be investigating the blaze. He said the house suffered extensive damage but may be able to be repaired.
“Fire and smoke damage is prevalent through the main floor with significant portions of the roof being completely burned away. The walkout basement had no visible fire damage but smoke and water damage is widespread,” added Lee.
Four adults and one child were displaced as a result of the fire.
A fire can be seen from the air in West Kelowna near Sonoma Pines Drive.
Emergency crews responded to the fire, which can be seen from a distance away due to the amount of smoke, at around 5:10 p.m. Wednesday.
Witnesses report a multi-level house fire on Madera Court, which lies in Westbank First Nation land.
The house was fully engulfed and the top is destroyed, according to witnesses.
The house was unoccupied at the time of the fire. The owners of the home were brought to tears after arriving home to find their home in flames.
Firefighters remain on scene.
The Capital News will update the story as information becomes available.