Houseboat lost in blaze

What caused a houseboat to go up in flames Friday morning isn’t known.

The Kelowna Fire Department boat uses its water pump to fight the houseboat fire Friay morning at Sutherland Bay.

What caused a houseboat to go up in flames Friday morning isn’t known.

Shortly after 8 a.m., people in the Poplar Point area along Okanagan Lake began to call 911 after spotting flames on a 30-foot houseboat located some 300 to 400 feet offshore.

Firefighters aboard the marine rescue boat quickly did a drive around the boat to make sure no one was in the water and that no fuel was leaking before attacking the flames with their monitor, which spews out 200 gallons per minute, said Platoon Captain Laurie Serres.

No other boats were threatened by the flames and the houseboat burned down to the water line.

“It went pretty quick, especially with the winds out there,” said Serres, estimating the winds to be at least 30 kilometres per hour.

No one was believed to be on the houseboat at the time of the fire—the owner is apparently out of town—but fire officials haven’t been on board the wreckage as it isn’t safe.

The fire will not be investigated by Kelowna Fire Department as it occurred outside the boundaries of the City of Kelowna. “From my experience, it would be hard to determine with the amount of burn,” said Serres.

Witnesses say the fire started inside or at the back of the boat, he added.

Transport Canada was making arrangements Friday to tow the boat out of the water. A spokesperson said they were not investigating the fire.

cwierda@kelownacapnews.com