Two people sent to hospital in early morning house fire in Oliver

Early morning dramatic fire

A dramatic house fire overnight sent two people to hospital, with a bystander reportedly performing a rescue of someone in the building.

The Oliver Fire Department responded to a house fully engulfed in flames off Fairview Road and Kootenay St. across from the post office around 11:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Rob Graham, Public Relations with the Oliver Fire Department said that the fire was called in by a passerby that had seen the fire.

Two people, who Graham confirmed were already outside of the building when they arrived on scene, received treatment by firefighters and British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) and were then transported to the hospital.

A bystander, Rebecka Rahkola, reached out to Castanet, saying that she witnessed the fire. She reportedly saw a man attempt four different times to enter the building, and on the fourth time, he pulled an elderly resident out of the doorway before crews arrived on scene.

The woman was reportedly unconscious and was carried to safety before first responders arrived on scene.

Rahkola says it was “like a movie”.

“It would have been a tragedy if we would not have been walking the dog and seen the flames from afar,” she explained.

Graham commented on the reported rescue, saying that the responders that were first on scene, “heard that report as well, though did not see it happen.” He continued saying, “reports from multiple people are that somebody did pull someone from the building.”

“Everyone was outside of the building by the time we got there, we did search the building and there was nobody found inside the building,” Graham clarified.

Graham understands one person was released from hospital while they were still on scene, “the second person is still in hospital this morning,” but he does not know the extent of the injuries. The two people that were treated and sent to hospital suffered smoke inhalation.

It took the crews two hours to contain the fire and a crew had to stay overnight to secure the scene. Graham commented that the metal roof was the biggest thing that made this a tough fire. The fire gets trapped up there, “it has nowhere to go”, and water cannot penetrate into the fire.

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