Farmhouse lost in fire on Pleasant Valley Road, homeowner rescued out of window by two passersby

Farmhouse lost in fire

UPDATE 7:41 p.m.

An old farmhouse in Vernon was completely lost after a structure fire demolished it steadily on Saturday.

The BX Swan Lake Fire Rescue Department Chief Bill Wacey said the call came in at 2:28 p.m. for a house fire on an orchard near Stickle Road.

“I was the first to arrive on scene and found a fully engulfed house fire that involved a large portion of property beside it, a bunch of trees and bushes along with the vehicle,” Wacey said.

Sixteen firefighters started tackling the blaze, which presented challenges as the old farmhouse had sawdust insulation. The walls and roof had begun collapsing.

“When we got there, the house fire had already become involved into the attic….We actioned the fire, because we had incoming units coming in.”

The Armstrong-Spallumcheen Volunteer Fire Department was called in an hour into the firefighting efforts to assist, bringing in a further eight crew members.

“Because of the heat conditions and we were already burning people out,” Wacey explained in the progression of the fire.

Unfortunately the fire crews were not able to save the house.

“We brought an excavator in to actually tear out the walls because of the sawdust insulation so that was the only way we were able to extinguish the fire. We were not letting anybody inside due to safety concerns.”

The homeowner was ‘absolutely overcome with smoke inhalation’ and taken to hospital, rescued by two passersby before fire crews arrived.

“They helped him out of a window as the side of the house where the door was, the entrance way was fully engulfed,” Wacey said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation, but is not believed to be suspicious.

Crews left at the scene at around 6:20 p.m.

UPDATE 4:10 p.m.

A house on an orchard near Stickle Road was heavily damaged by the flames.

Fire crews have requested heavy equipment be brought in to tear down walls and allow fire crews access to the interior flames.

Thick smoke was billowing into the sky and a nearby large tree is also believed to have caught fire. Several pieces of fire fighting equipment were at the scene along with numerous firefighters.

No other structures appear to have been damaged, but the older wood home is a total loss.

Crews began pouring foam onto the aged structure, which reduced the amount of visible flame.

Castanet will have more information as soon as it becomes available.

ORIGINAL 3:25 p.m.

Heavy smoke and visible flames are coming out of the roof of a home in the 6300 block of Pleasant Valley Road in Vernon.

The BX Swan Lake Fire Rescue Department is on scene.

Reporter Darren Handschuh is on scene and says one person has been taken to hospital due to smoke inhalation.

Handschuh describes the flames as pouring from the roof, which has since fallen in.

-With files from Darren Handschuh

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