Sprinkler douses fire

UPDATE 9:50 a.m.

Deputy Fire Chief Chris Forster says it is suspected the fire started when a cigarette butt was disposed of in a planter on the balcony by a resident at about 2:30 a.m.

The peat in the planter ignited shortly before 5 a.m.

“But the good part of it is — and we are very big advocates of, not all buildings have them — is sprinklers on balconies,” he said. “The sprinkler activated and extinguished the fire as the guys got on scene. We didn’t actually spray any of our water on it.”

The fire caused significant damage to the balcony and vinyl siding, but was contained to that area.

ORIGINAL 7:45 a.m.

The SOS Brain Injury Society apartment on Brunswick Street was evacuated for about an hour early Tuesday morning while firefighters dealt with a second floor balcony fire.

The Penticton Fire Department was called for reports of a structure fire shortly before 5 a.m. at the apartment complex.

Upon arrival, crews found some smoke and flames coming from a second floor balcony, however, sprinklers on the balcony had already activated, and doused much of the fire.

A witness at the scene was told some fire extensions got into the roof and walls of the deck siding.

There has been no official cause announced, but residents of the unit told police they had been smoking on the deck about three hours before the fire started.

All three residents of the affected unit and two cats were able to make it out safely.

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