Two bodies found in aftermath of apartment building fire

Two bodies found in fire

UPDATE 4 p.m.

Penticton RCMP have confirmed that two bodies have been found after an early morning fire at Penticton condo complex on Elm Avenue. 

Although the cause of the fire has yet to be confirmed, it does not appear to be a criminal in nature.

The RCMP received a request to assist the Penticton Fire Department with the large structure fire at 217 Elm Avenue at 4:18 a.m. Once the fire was out and a structural engineer deemed it was safe to go in, fire services located the bodies of two people.

The BC Coroners Service is also involved with an independent and concurrent fact-finding investigation.

UPDATE 11:35 a.m.

The Penticton Fire Department says its investigators and a structural engineer have now entered the building and are completing a full search of the premises. 

Currently an estimate of 50 people are being looked after by the emergency services team. The full number of people displaced by the blaze is currently unknown, according to the Penticton fire chief Larry Watkinson.

The three-storey apartment building at 217 Elm Avenue went up in flames at about 4 a.m. and has sustained massive damage.

“There’s extensive damage to the third floor and a lot of water damage to the first and second floor,” Rob Trousdell, deputy fire chief with the Penticton department said. 

Trousdell added the crews were focused on preventing the spread of the blaze to the motel and apartment building next door. Both those buildings were evacuated as a precaution. 

The team also used support from the Summerland fire department. 

UPDATE 9:45 a.m.

The Penticton Fire Department says they are still working to get a count on residents of a three-storey apartment building that went up in flames at 217 Elm Avenue. 

No firefighters were harmed in the battle against the large fire, which broke out at around 4 a.m.

Dozens of building occupants have been displaced with the structure sustaining massive damage. The residents are now in the care of emergency social services. 

Firefighters say they managed to extinguish the fire by about 8:30 a.m.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this point.

ORIGINAL 6:25 a.m.

Firefighters responded to an apartment building fire early this morning in Penticton.

Smoke could be seen pouring from the roof of the apartment block at  217 Elm Avenue, near Skaha Beach Park before 5 a.m.

Multiple fire units were on site, along with RCMP, and firefighters were battling the blaze with a ladder truck.

The cause of the fire is not known at this time, or if any injuries were involved.

Castanet will provide more details as they become available.

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