Kamloops Mounties say there does not appear to be a connection between two house fires on a street in Rayleigh and another fire in a residence on a nearby road, all of which were sparked within 30 minutes of each other on Friday, July 31.
At approximately 2:45 p..m, Kamloops RCMP and Kamloops Fire Rescue responded to a report of a residential structure fire at 4831 Aspen Park Dr.
By the time emergency personnel arrived, flames had spread to a house next door. None of the occupants from either home were injured.
Police say the cause of those two fires remain under investigation.
About a half-hour after responding to the initial pair of fires, there was a call regarding a third fire in a home two blocks away, on Reighmount Drive.
Both occupants of that home escaped the building without injury and fire investigators determined the fire’s origins is not suspicious.
In total, seven people were displaced due to the three fires.
Rayleigh resident Jake St. Germain was in the backyard of his Reighmount Drive a few doors away from where the third fire sparked when he noticed smoke coming from Aspen Park Drive.
He said he ran over to see the first home and its carport up in flames, noting he saw the gas tank and tires of a truck in the driveway explode.
“Then the neighbour’s house was starting to catch fire, too — roof to roof,” St. Germain said, adding about 40 people were watching from the street.
He said he ran into the yard of that second house to remove a dog from the property, having stepped up when he heard people hollering about the canine companion.
St. Germain said he then noticed smoke billowing from Reighmount Drive.
“I thought it was my house, so I just ran,” he said, noting the fire turned out to be a few doors away.
A KTW reporter on scene at the time could see smoke pouring out of a vent near the peak of the Reighmount Drive house. Flames appeared to be building at the rear of the home on the upper floor. Flames were also seen on the back deck of the home, where what appeared to be a length of one or more electrical extension cords were draped on the upper deck.
RCMP Victim Services was on scene liaising with the displaced residents.
Kamloops Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Robb Schoular said he back half of the first home on Aspen Park Drive was severely damaged by fire, while the second Aspen park Drive home’s attic and kitchen were damaged.
St. Germain, who has lived in Rayleigh for about 15 years.
“It’s pretty nuts that two would happen within half an hour. It’s quite the coincidence,” he said. “Crazy day, quiet neighbourhood, you definitely don’t get this.”
St. Germain said an elderly couple resides in the Reighmount Drive home that caught fire.
“Super nice old couple,” he said.
Police said the occupants of that home were able to escape the flames and were not hurt.
While no humans were injured in the fires, one of three dogs between the residences remains unaccounted for, Schoular said.
Kamloops RCMP is asking anyone who may have more information on the Aspen Park fire to contact them at 250-828-3000.