Dumpster fires back to back

Vernon Fire Services were busy Saturday night dealing with back to back dumpster fires. 

Capt. Darren Cecchini says they were first called to a large dumpster fire at a construction site on Kalamalka Road at 11:30 p.m.

“It was a large construction bin that was 20 feet by 10 feet, it was full of cupboard and garbage and wood,” said Cecchini.

“When they got there the flames were about 15-feet high and they were actually touching the adjacent building.”

He says fortunately the nearby building was cement and not wood frame or it would have a much bigger fire.

After crews knocked down the dumpster fire they checked over the building.

“They knocked down the fire quickly and then checked the building to ensure there was no fire damage.”

Then just over an hour later at the other end of town crews were called out to another dumpster fire at 44th Avenue and 27th Street at 12:50 a.m.

“A mattress was on fire inside the dumpster,” said Cecchini.

He says it was a much smaller fire that was easier to put out and did not pose a risk to anything nearby.

Both fires are being treated as suspicious in nature as Cecchini says typically dumpster fires are lit by someone.

He says fire investigators will be looking into it further on Monday but that it is often very hard to tell what caused a dumpster fire.

“It is usually hard to tell because they burn so hot and quick.”

Last winter there were a string of dumpster fires in the North Okanagan but Cecchini says fire services has not seen that trend continue into 2014 until now.

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