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Wildwood, Williams Lake fire departments respond to duplex fire

‘The suspected cause is an electrical short circuit’: Wildwood fire chief
Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department responds to a fire Thursday, Nov. 16 at 4869 Highway 97 North. (Photo submitted)

Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) responded to a house fire early Thursday, Nov. 16, north of Williams Lake.

A 9-1-1 call came in at 2:10 a.m. from residents living in one side of a duplex at 4869 Highway 97 in the community of Xatsull First Nation, said fire chief Brad Elliott.

“It was a rancher style home,” he said, adding it is believed one side of the duplex was not occupied at the time. “When we got there we saw smoke coming from the eaves. The occupants in the home were perfectly safe and no one was injured.”

WVFD responded with three apparatus and 10 firefighters.

Shortly after it was determined mutual aid support was needed and Williams Lake Fire Department responded with engines 11 and 12, a aduty truck and 12 members.

The entire duplex is a loss, Elliott confirmed, adding the unoccupied side was damaged by smoke and heat.

On Friday, Nov. 17, Elliott completed his investigation of the fire with the office of the fire commissioner and said the suspected cause was a possible electrical short circuit.

“The fire could not be extinguished safely from the inside, even with help from Williams Lake for an interior attack,” Elliott said, noting WVFD is exterior attack only. “We believe the fire was in the basement crawl space in the floor area.”

An excavator was brought in later that morning to excavate part of the building in order to extinguish the fire.

“We were on that fire for 12 hours,” Elliott said.

Not too many hours before the 9-1-1- call came in, the WVFD was having an appreciation and awards banquet at the fire hall.

“We went home and about an hour-and-a-half later is when we got the call,” Elliott said.

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Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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