Fire destroys log home



A log home on Saddlehorn Drive was completely destroyed in a fire that started Wednesday night.

Kaleden Fire Chief Darlene Bailey says 17 firefighters from the Kaleden Volunteer Fire Department responded, along with the Okanagan Falls Fire Department, just after 11 p.m.

Forestry was on scene, as well, because the fire was moving through the forest.

Bailey says the fire was challenging because there was no hydrant service at the location, and they had to turn to nearby St. Andrews By the Lake for water.

There were a few small explosions at the scene, but it's hard to say what it was because it was so dark, she adds.

"Every part of the log house and the trees around it were on fire," says Bailey. "So our primary thing was for it not to get away, with so many other houses around."

Neighbour Jim Challoner says he started hearing popping and crackling around 11:05 p.m.

"I could see it burning from here. It was a whole ball of fire going up just like a huge bonfire," he says. "We were just lucky there was no wind last night."

Gerry and Ron Stimson got a phone call from a neighbour around 11:30 p.m. saying they should evacuate because the house across the street was burning.

"I looked out and saw flames shooting 100 feet high," says Gerry Stimson. "It was like the biggest chimney fire you ever saw. I tried to breathe and put the sprinklers on, and we did pack up a few things and get pets ready."

The Wiren family was in bed when the phone rang and a neighbour started pounding on their door.

"I opened the door and saw the whole sky was orange," says Dennis Wiren.

His wife Tammy and two children left the scene and went to a safe location, while he stayed behind to help get animals and people out safely.

All the neighbours were grateful that firefighters arrived so quickly on the scene and no other homes were lost.

It is not believed anyone was living in the home at the time, but that is still being looked into.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. 

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