No one was injured after a fire and multiple explosions between two sheds erupted behind a home on Linden Avenue on Thursday night (April 8).
A family of seven was home at 370 Linden Ave. when it all began in their North Kamloops backyard at about 5:30 p.m.
Homeowner Mark Krug said he was outside washing his cars at the time, noting one of the explosions knocked him off his feet.
“I don’t know exactly what happened, but my shed caught fire in the back” Krug told KTW.
He said he noticed black smoke coming from his backyard while washing the cars and ran back there to see what was happening.
“The shed caught fire and it just got so big, I had to get away,” Krug said, adding he alerted his family and they all escaped the home unscathed.
Krug said his outdoor water was still turned off for the winter and by the time he turned it back on, the flames were too large to douse.
He said neighbours came to help, but there wasn’t anything they could do and he had to tell them to get back.
“Just told everybody get away, get away and the the next thing you know, there’s a big explosion,” Krug said.
He said he felt “high pressure” and his ears were ringing from the blast that knocked him to the ground, but he was able to stand up and get away.
Krug said he heard about two or three explosions, which he thinks came from a propane tank and oxyacetylene tank he had in the backyard, located in an area between his detached garage and a shed directly behind it.
“It was quite a blast. It took the shed apart, the roof came down,” Krug said.
“It’s stressful,” Krug said. “Just wondering what to do next. It burned down our fence and neighbour’s stuff. We don’t have insurance.”
At the scene, a shed behind the detached garage was completely demolished. The garage appeared gutted by fire.
Kamloops Fire Rescue responded with at least five fire trucks and 14 members and appeared to have the fire under control by about 6 p.m.
KFR assistant chief Ryan Cail said the call came in as a structure fire and reports of explosions followed.
Crews noticed heavy fire and smoke en route and upon their arrival, noted a couple explosions from what seems to have been oxyacetylene tanks rupturing.
Cail said there were no injuries to the residents — husband, wife and their five children of various ages.
As of about 6 p.m., firefighters were still dousing the detached garage for hot spots.
Cail said it’s unclear if the family will be allowed to return to the home once firefighters have cleared the scene.
The cause of the blaze has not yet been determined, Cail said, noting fire prevention officers will be on scene to investigate.
The flames did not reach the home, but the explosions caused some minor damage.
Neighbour Myles Burnette said he was doing some work in his backyard, located behind the alley with 370 Linden Ave., when he noticed the explosions.
“It was like a movie,” he told KTW.
Burnette said he heard small pops followed by about two large booms, one of which he estimates blew him back five feet when he hopped the fence and went to try to help move a snowmobile in the yard away from the fire.
The structures went up in flames in under five minutes, he said.
Multiple people around Kamloops reported hearing or feeling an explosion at about 5:30 p.m. and a large black smoke plume was briefly visible rising over the North Shore.