A Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP officer became a firefighter Sunday afternoon.
And a Mission Hill homeowner is eternally grateful.
Const. David Brovold had been a few blocks away on another call when he noticed a plume of smoke coming from the 1600 block of 31st Street Sept. 13 shortly after 1:30 p.m. He thought the smoke was a different contrast to the wildfire haze that’s been covering the Okanagan over the weekend, so he went closer to investigate.
“I got out and met the homeowner, who came out of his house excitedly saying ‘my house is on fire,’” said Brovold. “I grabbed the extinguisher out of my car and extinguished the fire at the back of the house with the help of the neighbour, who came out with a hose. We managed to snuff it out before it consumed his house.
“A couple of minutes more and it might have been a different outcome. I was in the right place at the right time. Happy to be here.”
The homeowner, who did not wish to be identified, said he started doing some welding out back at around 10:30 a.m. and went inside for lunch about a half-hour before he noticed the fire.
“I smelled smoke and I thought it was this stuff (wildfire smoke),” said the man, pointing upward. “I got my air purifier from downstairs, put in the living room and turned it on. I then looked out my kitchen window and saw flame and smoke and knew the fire was here.”
The man’s own hose was right beside the fire, so he couldn’t get to it, and was on the phone with 911 when Brovold appeared on-scene.
“I ran around with a bucket and saw the officer,” said the homeowner. “I asked if he had a fire extinguisher, he said, ‘Yeh, I do,’ and came ripping around the back. He blasted it and pretty much got it. The neighbour shoved the hose over the fence, the officer grabbed that and pretty much put out the fire.”
Vernon Fire Rescue Services arrived from another call to make sure the fire was completely out.
There was minimal damage to the back of the insured home.