West Kelowna  

Fire deemed accident

UPDATE: 12:15 p.m.

The fire that destroyed two homes in the Bayview community was accidental. That's the determination of fire investigators with the West Kelowna Fire Department.

Fire Chief Jason Broland says the cause of the fire was attributed to a barbecue at the rear of one of the residences.

"WKFR reminds the public to be cautious with all sources of heat and ignition in the outdoors," said Broland.

"A campfire ban remains in place and the public is asked to remain vigilant and report fire or smoke."

UPDATE: 6:15 a.m.

West Kelowna Fire Chief Jason Brolund says a barbecue fire Thursday evening spread to two homes.

Firefighters responded to the blaze with crews from the Westbank, Lakeview Heights, Glenrosa and Rose Valley stations.

The fire was knocked down defensively and once safe, crews entered both homes to ensure residents made it out. A cat was rescued from inside one of the homes.

Eleven residents and two pets were placed in care of Emergency Support Services, and firefighters remained on fire watch overnight.

The cause of the fire is under investigation, although it is not considered suspicious. Investigators will return to the scene this morning.

UPDATE: 7:10 p.m.

A witness at the scene of the fire says it appears West Kelowna Fire Rescue has the blaze under control. 

While four fire trucks remain on scene near 2440 Old Okanagan Highway, only one truck is still hitting the home with water and few flames are now visible. 

The heavy smoke that was pouring from the home earlier has also diminished somewhat. 

ORIGINAL: 6:35 p.m.

Firefighters are responding to a house fire in the Bayview community in West Kelowna.

A huge pillar of smoke can be seen rising from the neighbourhood behind the Walmart store, off Old Okanagan Highway.

A barbecue fire apparently got out of hand and spread to the home.

More details to come.

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