Two people are in serious condition with burns and smoke inhalation after a house fire on Mt. Trinity Avenue in Fernie last night.
Fernie Fire Rescue (FFR) received a call at 11:04 pm on Sunday, Oct. 6 of a house fire at 22 Mt. Trinity Avenue in Fernie.
The upper story of the two-story house was engulfed when firefighters arrived on scene at 11:15 pm. Three fire trucks and 10 fire fighters responded and had the fire contained by 11:48 pm. Elk Valley RCMP and the BC Ambulance Service were also on scene.
The fire is under investigation by the FFR but initial reports are as follows. Four renters, thought to be in their twenties, occupied the home with two guests when the fire started.
A man in his twenties had a pot of cooking oil heating on the stovetop to cook French fries. He left the kitchen for a minute or two when he heard a big pop come from the kitchen. The man attempted to extinguish the fire on the stove twice with a towel and then a blanket without success. He decided to alert everyone in the house, some who were sleeping.
The man went back into the house unsure if everyone was out of the building. As a result he sustained burns to his face and suffered from smoke inhalation. He was kept at the Elk Valley Hospital over night and was released on Monday.
Witnesses have reported that one woman jumped from the second story back bedroom window and was caught by a next-door neighbor before she hit the ground.
FFR have determined there was one smoke detector in the upper level of the house but it is undetermined whether it was functional.
“Ensure you have working smoke detectors on every level of your house,” said Fire Chief Ted Ruiter. “It’s early to say but the young man may not have had to have run back through the house waking people up to get them out.”
Two individuals are in serious condition from burns and smoke inhalation. They were transported to Calgary by STARS helicopter in the night.
FFR called BC Hydro and Fortis BC to turn off the electricity and gas to the home. The insurance company will arrive on Oct. 7 to do their investigation and to secure the site. Owners of the house are Fernie residents who are reportedly travelling in Ontario.
The second story of the house sustained the majority of the fire damage as the kitchen was on the second floor. The fire burned through the roof yet firefighters managed to protect an adjacent home approximately twenty feet away.
FFR would like to remind the public that it is Fire Prevention Awareness week. To see what you can do to protect your home, go to www.fiprecan.ca or visit the Fernie Fire Rescue station.