There was extensive damage, but no reported injuries in a pair of house fires in Kamloops over the weekend.
Kamloops Fire Rescue crews battled a blaze at 1214 Columbia St. downtown on Friday afternoon and at 620 Brentwood Ave. in North Kamloops on Saturday evening.
The Columbia Street fire began before 2 p.m. and caused extensive damage, burning through and collapsing the roof of the home and leaving it a total loss, Platoon Capt. Shawn Davidson told KTW.
Fire prevention officer Dean Olstad said the Columbia Street fire was caused by careless smoking.
“Somebody was smoking on the back deck,” Olstad said, noting there was reportedly one to four people at the home.
According to the homeowners, they were not home at the time of the fire and do not smoke.
Fourteen firefighters and five fire trucks responded to the fire, which took multiple hours to extinguish. Firefighters used a ladder truck to attack the flames.
Another 14 firefighters and three fire trucks responded to the house fire in North Kamloops on Saturday, Davidson said.
The blaze began at about about 8 p.m. with firefighters attacking it with hose lines from the front and rear. Most of the damage to the home appeared to be on the west and back end.
Olstad said the cause and origin of that fire is still under investigation.
Neighbours told KTW they knocked on doors between their house and the one that burned to alert residents to the fire.
Firefighters had the blaze out in about two to three hours, Davidson said, noting the house sustained extensive damage.
“The carport was completely caved in and it [the fire] burned into the house and damaged a good portion of the house as well,” Davidson said.
A pair of Go Fund Me fundraisers have been started for the residents of 620 Brentwood Ave., who were apparently renting the house. According to the fundraiser webpages, the two residents lost their possessions in the fire and had no contents insurance.
They are now looking for a place to stay and are currently living in a trailer outside their burned home. To donate, go online to gofundme.com and search “house fire” and “Nicky and Ricky Johnstone.”