Fire guts rental home

Origin unknown but suspicious

The cause of a house fire in Ross Spur Sunday morning remains unknown but firefighters are calling the blaze “suspicious.”

Sixteen firefighters from Trail, Montrose and Fruitvale were called to the home at 207 Balsam Rd. just after 9 a.m.

“When the first crews got there, it (the fire) was already through all the windows and we were quite concerned about it moving into the forest right beside the home,” said Terry Martin, Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue chief.

“We got very lucky that there wasn’t a big wind yesterday. There was a little bit of grass burning and a little bit of the bank burning but they were able to extinguish those fires and put out what was left of the house, which wasn’t very much, unfortunately.”

Firefighters had the blaze out in about two hours but the older wooden home lacked the modern construction to withstand the fire.

The home, owned by a Vancouver couple, was a rental property but had no tenants as of late.

“As nobody was living in the house and nobody was around when it caught on fire, it’s under investigation as suspicious and the RCMP are involved,” added Martin.