Penticton & South Okanagan News
Woman accused of arson
Update April 9, 4:30 p.m.:
The woman accused of starting a fire that destroyed three homes in Princeton has been identified and released on bail.
Ashley Gallagher, 29,is facing six arson related charges in connection with the fire on Fenchurch Avenue in late March.
Her next court appearance is slated for May 15, according to court documents.
Three houses and three garages were burned in a fire on Fenchurch Avenue in Princeton, Thursday night.
Princeton Fire Chief Eric Gregson said they responded around 10:20 p.m. and found three of the garages and two houses fully engulfed, and the exterior of the third home on fire.
They also had live power lines down and a report of four 20 pound propane tanks inside one of the garages.
There were reports of multiple explosions.
There are four occupants of the three homes. A single man got out safely from his home. A couple in another home got out, but their two cats did not make it.
The single man who lives in the third house was not home. Firefighters took a hamster out of that home, but it did not make it.
They will all be put up by emergency social services.
Gregson said this size of a scene is a large fire in any city, and it happened here in a small town.
It was also a fierce fire that could have spread to several more houses.
The fire is under investigation, with several investigators on scene, Friday.
Gregson estimated dollar value loss for all six structures to be $1 million.
At least two of the households were not insured.
Daniel Pettie, who was renting one of the houses that burned, was at the scene trying to salvage what he could on Friday.
"All my stuff was destroyed," he said."I. don't know where to go from here. I will just try to start again, start with a cell phone and work my way up."
Pettie says he was asleep when the fire started.
"I was woken up by somebody off the street and once I got into my kitchen trying to figure out what was going on I heard a couple of explosions in the shed behind my house," says Pettie.
"I saw some flames and decided I needed to get out before anything got worse."
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