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Kelowna  

Late-night fire closes hwy

UPDATE: 8:20 a.m.

A cause of a fire which threatened an apartment building on Thayer Court in Kelowna is under investigation.

The fire, which started in brush and a tree above Highway 97 near Burtch was moving up an embankment toward an apartment complex when fire crews arrived.

"The quick response by the responding fire crews stopped the fire before it was able to cause extensive damage to the apartment building," said platoon captain Steve Roshinsky in a news release Tuesday morning.

While the cause is under investigation, Roshinsky reminds people to safely discard any smoking materials responsibly in a noncombustible container.


ORIGINAL STORY: 6 a.m.

Highway 97 was closed down in Kelowna overnight for a brush fire that was dangerously close to a condo complex.

The fire started about 11:10 p.m. in bushes along the highway, in front of the Laurentian Heights condo building.

It got into tall trees, sending flames towering over the highway, several storeys high.

The incident forced the closure of the highway between Burtch Road and Gordon Drive.

"We started seeing smoke and sparks above our home near Capri Mall at 11:15 p.m. and ran to the highway and saw the bushes along the highway up in flames," said witness Megan Butler.

It's not yet known what started the fire, but firefighters had it mostly out by 11:35 p.m. and were on scene mopping up for some time after that.

"Big trees on fire at Chandler Street and Highway 97 ... went up like a roman candle," said another witness.

One fire engine and crew fought the blaze from the highway, and another was stationed above at the condos, keeping the flames from advancing toward the building.



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