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Vernon  

Arsonist destroys playhouse

A child’s playhouse was destroyed in a suspicious early morning fire.

The fire was called in just before 2 a.m. Monday morning in the 800 block of Mt. Bulman Place when an astute neighbour noticed a smell of smoke. 

Barbara Keith says she woke up about 1:45 to go to the bathroom, that's when the smell hit her. At first she didn’t think much of it, because of the amount of smoke currently in the valley, but then she heard the ‘popping’ of the flames.

“It sounded like rain almost. I went to the window and looked to the left and the whole hill behind the house was lit up,” says Keith. “You couldn’t even tell which house it was behind at first, but the flames were shooting above the roof.”

As it turns out the popping she heard was the cracking of the flames as it consumed the wooden playhouse and melted the slide.

“My biggest fear was that with the way the fire was popping it would spread to the roofs,” says Keith.

She called 9-1-1 and at the request of fire officials started running door to door in the cul-de-sac alerting neighbours. The house closest to the fire started soaking their roof with a hose.

Keith says she could hear fire on their way as she ran door to door and they arrived fast and got the fire under control.

She was told there were also a lot of vehicles broken into that same evening so they believe the incidents might be connected.

No one was home at the time of the fire, but a small dog was left outside in the yard. Fortunately, a next-door neighbour rushed in and saved it before fire crews arrived.

Vernon Fire Services say the fire is definitely suspicious and seems to have been deliberately set.

RCMP Spokesman Gord Molendyk says police have been on the scene and are now working with fire investigators. 

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