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UPDATE: Woman injured while rescuing dog from massive Kelowna fire

(UPDATE: July 8 @ 4:10 pm) - A towering plume of black smoke could be seen across the city during the noon hour in Kelowna.

The fire at the corner of Benvoulin and Casorso roads had the building fully engulfed when fire crews arrived.

The vacant structure was once home to the Tomato King and more recently housed a BC SPCA thrift store.

The building was almost completely consumed by the fire and one person was injured.

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow

“When crews arrived on scene they saw the structure behind us fully engulfed," said Fire Chief Dwight Seymour at the scene.

“We had two individuals that had come out of the structure and were in the process of trying to rescue a dog off the roof, which was successful.”

It was successful for the dog, but a woman appeared to have been injured in the process.

“I don’t know to what extent, but we did have one civilian sustain some burns," Seymour noted.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow

With nobody in the wood building and the advanced stage of the fire, crews concentrated on making sure it didn’t spread to any neighbouring properties.

That was made more difficult by the fact that there are no fire hydrants in the area.

“So what we use is our water tenders,” Seymour explained, “So we have five engines, we have two tenders supplying water to those engines, as well as we have a ladder truck just in case.”

Fire crews were also patrolling the area, ensuring the blaze didn’t spark any spot fires nearby.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow

The heat was an issue for the firefighters on a day like today.

“At 34°C or something like that...with all the clothing that we have on, it just makes it that much hotter," the fire chief said. "So we are making sure we’re rotating them through and making sure they keep hydrated.”

Crews expect to be on scene for the rest of the day to monitor the fire.

There is no word yet on a cause.


(UPDATE: July 8 @ 12:45 pm) - The fire is located right near the intersection of Benvoulin Road and Casorso Road.

KelownaNow's Kent Molgat has arrived at the scene and confirmed it's the old Tomato King building that has gone up in flames.

The old wood building, which later housed the BC SPCA thrift store, has been vacant for several years, but neighbours tell Molgat it's used by transients.

<who>Photo Credit: Google Streetview

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow

<who>Photo Credit: KelownaNow

One woman was treated my paramedics and taken away in an ambulance.

She's believed to have suffered burn injuries.

The issue facing the Kelowna Fire Department at this time is that there are no fire hydrants in the area.


(Original story: July 8 @ 12:20 pm) - Emergency crews are on the way to a fire that is currently burning in the Lower Mission.

The fire was spotted just after noon and black smoke can be seen from a distance, indicating that it's a structure fire and not a bush fire.

<who> Photo Credit: KelownaNow

The exact location of the blaze is not known, but it appears to be in the area around Benvoulin Road, potentially a bit towards Gordon Drive, just north of Casorso Road.

A KelownaNow reporter is headed to the scene and we will update the story as more information becomes available.

<who>Photo Credit: Contributed



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