City officials confirmed there were no injuries sustained in a house fire that members of the Williams Lake Fire Department attended Friday morning, May 25.
Williams Lake Fire Department crews responded to a structure fire on Schmidt Road on May 25, 2018. The home is now in mop up stage, and there are no reported injuries.
— City Williams Lake (@CityWL) May 25, 2018
The property, of which the address is 604 Allen Road, was badly damaged by the fire, as was at least one vehicle and two storage containers.
Wyatt Bednarz confirmed Saturday he is the owner of the property located at the corner of Schmidt Road and Allen Road, which includes the house (604 Allen Road) that burned, a shop and trailer (1006 Schmidt Road).
Bednarz, who lives just a few houses up from his rental property, said he was late getting to work Friday morning because he was working the night before putting out the fire on Fox Mountain and was just leaving shortly after 9 a.m. when he heard several explosions.
“I couldn’t figure out what it was,” Bednarz said of the sound, which ending up being propane bottles exploding in the garage of his rental home. “I walked out my door and I could see smoke.”
Bednarz said the home was rented to his family — his niece and her partner, Buddy Hurren.
He was home at the time and it was the family dog that initially alerted him to the fire, Bednarz said.
While the home and its contents were insured, Bednarz lost all the irreplaceable contents in the one storage unit which contained keepsake items from his late mother and father. His son, Bradley lost a pickup truck stored at the home.
The 13-year-old who lived in the home, also lost all his personal possessions, Bednarz said.
On Saturday, security was set up to monitor the property.
Bednarz said he will likely be back at the property Monday when he will start to go through his things and really get full picture of what was lost.
He confirmed the fire may have been caused by a battery charger in the shop.
*Editor’s note – We initially reported Corey Tinney was the renter of the house, which was incorrect. Tinney lived beside the house which was rented by Buddy Hurren and his family on one property.
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A Williams Lake home and at least one vehicle stored beside it was extensively damaged by fire Friday morning.
“I woke up this morning and I thought I heard a bunch of lumber hitting the ground,” Corey Tinney told the Tribune.
Tinney lives at 1006 Schmidt Road, beside the home that was on fire.
“I checked out and made sure everything was OK with my neighbour — that he got out, and his dog and his little boy got out and then made some phone calls.”
Nearby Mountview Elementary School was far enough away that school carried on, however, staff kept children inside for recess due to the poor air quality.
Superintendent Mark Wintjes said buses were on standby to evacuate children at Mountview if it was necessary.
A column of black smoke rising from the fire was very visible from the city’s downtown area.
When the Tribune arrived on scene, Tinney could be seen rolling a dirt bike out of the shop located close to the home. He later said he also had rolled out a car earlier to prevent it from catching fire.
Home owner Wyatt Bednarz and RCMP were on scene before members of the Williams Lake Fire Department (WLFD) arrived at about 10 a.m. The WLFD received assistance from members of the 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Department and the Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department who all quickly beat down the intense blaze.
It is too early for investigators to determine the official cause of the fire, however, Tinney believes it was the result of a battery charger which was plugged in that malfunctioned.