Sep 23, 2012 / 9:26 am
A motorhome has been completely destroyed after it caught fire about 10 kilometres west of the Trepanier Road turn-off on Highway 97C Sunday morning.
The unit was first discovered around 8:30 a.m. by RCMP officers who noticed it was starting to smoke while parked just off the highway.
Within minutes it was fully engaged and explosions could be heard as the propane tanks ignited.
The vehicle was parked on the side of the road in a grassy area and within 20 feet of nearby trees.
The West Kelowna Fire Department and the Ministry of Forests were on the scene, but crews were initially kept well back due the risk of further explosions.
The blaze forced the closure of the westbound lanes of the Connector and traffic quickly backed up.
"We were first on scene. We pulled up and there was a motor home going up and the guy was standing by the post over there. He didn't look too happy about it," says Ken Martin, one of many who witnessed the fire.
"It (the fire) looked about 10 times worse than it is right now. We got up there and we just heard a big bang, so they asked us to back off. It (the motor home) was a good size. You could hear lots of things going off inside."
Tom McEwen was stopped about half a mile from the fire scene, so he walked up to see what was going on.
"When I got up here I could see it was the remnants of a fair sized motorhome, probably about 35 to 40 feet. We were watching and waiting for Westside fire to arrive. They arrived on scene and did some wild-land fire suppression as well as the motor home," says McEwen.
"(There were) propane cyclinders, tires, air bags, all going off. It seemed to have jumped the barrier here and started a small grass fire. It grew in size just as Westside fire arrived, it was their first priority to get the fire under control."
The fire was put out and the highway reopened around 10:20 a.m.
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Motor home fire-Sept. 23, 2012
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