Update: Kelowna resident escapes fire with her passport and slippers

Fire investigator Paul Johnson spoke about the home that was destroyed Tuesday

UPDATE: 3:00 p.m.

Bonnie Kretschmer is reportedly the woman who managed to escape the house fire on Tuesday night.

She took to Facebook, Wednesday morning to let friends and family know she was OK.

“I am fine… in shock.. very sad.thank you to the fire department for the early warning.. sad to say I didn’t get out with much… but happy that it was not in the middle of the night,”(sic) she wrote online.

—————

Update: 11 a.m.

Neighbours woke up to ash on their cars this morning after a fire destroyed a home in McKinley Landing last night.

According to fire investigations officer Paul Johnson, the fire started in the chimney and the resident was unaware of the flames on the outside of her home until a passerby knocked on the door.

She escaped the blaze with her passport and slippers.

The investigation to determine the cause of the fire will continue when it’s out, said Johnson. As of Wednesday morning, firefighters were still putting out hot-spots.

The fire had also burned grass around the home; however, no other structures were threatened. Neighbours in the area said they woke up to ash on their balconies and driveways, but knew the fire was not going to spread last night due to the damp conditions.

The property and surrounding area is owned by Melcor Developments Ltd. The tenants did have insurance and are now in the care of Emergency Social Services.

Original:

A fire that destroyed a large home in the McKinley Landing area of Kelowna Tuesday night raised fear for some area residents that it could have prompted an evacuation.

Mohini Singh, a Kelowna city councillor who lives just nine houses from home that burned, said she could see the tops of the flames and went home and gathered her important legal documents just in case there was an evacuation order.

“You really realize how vulnerable we are here (in McKinley Landing),” she said Wednesday.

Singh said while there is an emergency exit road out of the McKinley in addition to the one main road in and out, in the dark it would have been hard to find.

According to the Kelowna Fire Department, a call about a roof fire at a home in the 1600-block of Bennett Road came in around 8 p.m. Tuesday. When firefighters arrived, they saw flames shooting out of the roof of the large, secluded home.

The fire spread quickly from the roof into the rest of the building, which Singh described as being at the end of a very long driveway.

She said many of her neighbours were gathered on the road outside the entrance to the home watching the flames and were concerned that there may not be enough water to fight the fire.

“All we could see was flames licking the tops of the trees,” she said. “It reminded me of the 2003 wildfire.”

The KFD said at times, flames were shooting 150 feet into the air and the firefighters had to shuttle water to the scene from a hydrant 700 metres away.

The fire department battled the blaze with six fire trucks, two water tenders, a rescue and command vehicle and 25 firefighters.

Singh praised the work of the firefighters not only in knocking down the house fire, but also for snuffing out several nearby grass fires ignited by floating embers from the burning building.

In the end, no evacuation was required, but Singh described it as a “very frightening moment.”

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