Fire ravages empty home on HWY 6

The home had been slated for demolition but not until the following week.

  • Apr. 23, 2015 6:00 p.m.

Trisha Shanks

Arrow Lakes News

As they say, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. So went the scheduled control burn of the old home located at 372 Highway 6 South last Thursday when a spark from a fire burning yard waste was caught by the wind and landed on the shingles, setting the house fire in motion.

The home had been slated for demolition either by excavator or by allowing the Nakusp and Area Fire Department to set it ablaze as a training exercise but not until the following week. Chief Warren thought it would make the perfect training exercise for his department.

Fire Chief Terry Warren was at the office when he got the Code 3 call that the home was in flames.

“The fire at the property had a permit but it just goes to show how quickly any fire can get out of control,” Nakusp Fire Chief Terry Warren said.

Fourteen members suited up and sped to the scene where they leapt into action, assessing the situation and readying fire hoses. They proceeded to monitor the situation, because unlike a regular fire, this one was meant to take place. The crew — all volunteers — worked to keep the flames from spreading to neighbouring outbuildings, trees and the occupied dwelling on the same property.

“We don’t get as many fires as we used to so it was good practice,” said Warren. “They did very well, an excellent job, in fact. We have a very good crew. It was good for them to see how fire reacts — actually feel the heat and spray the water. Some of our members are new so it was excellent for training.”

The house was in the process of being cleared of fixtures and fittings, which the family was going to salvage prior to the day it was slated to be alit. The original cast-iron clawfoot tub could be seen outside behind the blaze.

“We had some great memories there,” said Deanne Nixon whose grandparents last lived in the house and whose father Dave lives in the newer home on the property.