A fire in Arrow Park on Saturday, Dec. 14 destroyed an outbuilding, but the main house was saved by the fast-moving Burton Volunteer Fire Department.
Less than an hour after Joan and Bob Beddoes left their home to go out and celebrate Joan’s birthday late on Saturday morning, their workshop trailer was on fire, the plume of smoke visible from the other side of the lake.
Neighbour Brian Graham saw the blaze shortly after noon, and called it in to the Burton Volunteer Fire Department, of which he is himself a volunteer. By the time he saw the conflagration, it was in full flame. Carla and Bill Poulin called from across the lake to find out what was causing the smoke they could see from their side of the shore.
In only 30 minutes, about ten fire fighters were on site with the truck and caddy, trying to get the fire under control. The extremely hot fire had begun to affect the main house, said Burton Fire Chief Brian Harrop, who was one of the volunteers batting the blaze. There was no way to control the fire consuming the shed, which burned so hot that it had melted the siding off the back of the Beddoes’ house.
“Five minutes longer and they wouldn’t have had a house either,” said Peterson, the RDCK Area K director, who had watched some of the fire fighting. Burton Volunteers has stopped a few potentially home-destroying fires, he said, but residents are still required to pay insurance rates as though there is no fire coverage in the area.
“Every cent put into the Burton Volunteer Fire Department was saved yesterday,” said Peterson, speaking with the Arrow Lakes News on Sunday, Dec. 15. The cost of the house that was saved made every contribution to the volunteer fire department worthwhile, he underlined.
Three or four hours after the BVFD’s arrival, the fire was extinguished and considered safe. Popping sounds could be heard through the night, as the few remains of the building – which once had contained tools, crafts, and foodstuffs – continued to smoulder. The volunteers were back on Sunday morning with an excavator on loan from Crescent Bay Construction to finish the job, putting out spot fires and making sure nothing was left of the destructive blaze.
Although damaged, the house survived, as did the Beddoes’ two house cats, and no one was injured putting the fire out. The material loss is estimated at $130,000, Harrop told the Arrow Lakes News, and the cause is undetermined at this time.