West Kelowna  

Fire destroys home

Alanna Kelly

UPDATE: 6 a.m.

Investigators will return to the scene of Wednesday's evening's house fire on the Westbank First Nation today.

West Kelowna assistant fire chief Darren Lee said crews watched the scene overnight to monitor for hotspots.

Firefighters responded to two-alarm blaze on the 2100 block of Madera Court about 5 p.m..

When the first crews arrived, the fire had already escaped the garage area of the home and had spread into the attic and the main floor living area. Flames and radiant heat were threatening a neighbouring home, which did sustain some minor heat damage.

Once the garage fire was knocked down, a second crew worked on the interior of the home and attic.

Lee said precautions had to be taken to protect firefighters from working in the heat. Firefighters rotated through a rehabilitation station with paramedics to stay cool.

WKFR responded with four engines, a water tender, ladder truck and three command units, for a total of 27 firefighters on scene. Additional units were called to backfill the Westbank and Lakeview Heights firehalls during the incident. The standby crews responded to eight additional emergency calls during the structure fire.

RCMP, BC Ambulance, BC Hydro and Fortis gas also responded.

Emergency Support Services housed the four adults and one child who were displaced by the fire.

Fire and smoke damage was extensive, with significant portions of roof being completely burned away, while the basement suffered smoke and water damage.

UPDATE: 7:45 p.m.

Neighbours living in Sonoma Pines called 911 after they saw smoke coming out of a garage on their street.

"I noticed the smoke coming out of the garage, it was a grey-ish smoke at that point. Within minutes it just changed," said a neighbour. "By the time I turned around there were already flames coming out of the garage, the car was on fire and that was less than four minutes."

Firefighters on scene said no one was injured and it is not clear at this time what caused the fire.

The investigation is ongoing.

UPDATE: 5:50 p.m.

Castanet has learned the owners of the home that burned in the Sonoma Pines neighbourhood were not home at the time of the fire.

They were not far away at the Westbank Centre kids spray park, when their young son noticed smoke rising from the blaze.

They returned to find their home engulfed, they told Castanet as they watched firefighters douse the flames.

UPDATE: 5:35 p.m.

A neighbour near the fire says the entire house is burning, and flames are licking through the roof.

Claire Rijke says it didn't appear that the owners were in the area, and it wasn't clear how the fire started.

Another witness says the house looks to be completely destroyed.

ORIGINAL: 5:20 p.m.

Fire crews are responding to a house fire in West Kelowna, where flames are reportedly coming from all floors of the home.

The fully engulfed home is burning on Madera Court, near Sonoma Pines Drive, on Westbank First Nation land.

Several fire trucks rushed to the scene to fight the large blaze.

Castanet has a reporter heading to the scene, and this story will be updated as more information becomes available.  

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