Fire lights up the sky


Nearly 200 bales of hay and several vehicles went up in smoke in an early morning fire in Vernon on Thursday.

The fire, near Pottery Road, was called in shortly before 5 a.m.

A couple of cars, a motorcycle, some utility trailers and a travel trailer were lost in the blaze.

"There was a lady sleeping in the travel trailer in front of the fire who happened to hear some popping noises and awoke about 4:50 a.m.," says Vernon fire official, Jack Blair.

"She was able to get out with her animals."

Blair says 180 bales of hay, stored in the back of the garage, were also lost.

He says fire crews will have to rip all the bales apart and soak them down to ensure there are no sparks.

"This is a pretty dry area so we have to make sure it's out."

Blair says be believes the fire began in or around the garage area, although that is still to be determined.

"There is a lot of fire damage so it is going to require a lot of dig outs (removing material) to try and figure out what it may have been," says Blair.

He adds at this time it is too early to determine a cause.

Blair wouldn't speculate on a link to the recent string of arsons that have gripped the city in recent months.

--Files from Ragnar Haagen

6:27 a.m.: An early morning blaze destroyed a structure and bales of hay In the vicinity of Pottery Road in East Vernon Thursday morning.

The fire was reported at around 4 a.m., witnesses say the hay started first then the barn became engulfed in flames.

People reported seeing the smoke for several kilometres away.

Firefighters were still fighting the stubborn blaze at 6:30 a.m., they were able to contain fire to the one property.

There have been over 20 suspicious fires in the North Okanagan in the last few months.

More details to follow.

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