Monday’s fire on Pine Ave.

Monday’s fire on Pine Ave.

Police investigating cause of blaze that consumed three homes

Monday morning fire damaged three homes in West Trail



Investigation into the Monday morning house fire in West Trail that destroyed three homes continued Tuesday with police taking over the lead.

Fire crews were called to the scene on Pine Avenue, where a house was consumed in fire, and two homes on either side were engulfed in flames.

“The cause of the fire is being treated as suspicious and the investigation is continuing,” confirmed Sgt. Rob Hawton of the Trail and Greater District RCMP in a press release Tuesday.

The fire was brought under control in five hours with 32 firefighters from Rossland, Warfield, Trail and Montrose on site, and the regional fire rescue took the reins of the investigation that morning.

Although there was no suspicious activity reported in the neighbourhood, located at the junction of Pine Avenue and Topping Street, the intensity of the fire and level of destruction hampered the initial investigation, said Terry Martin, regional fire chief.

“As an investigator when you see a house catch fire that no one has live in since June, it does raise suspicion,” said Martin. “I do not want to alarm people but that is why the RCMP are assisting and will be the lead agency in the investigation.”

The middle house, at 1557 Pine Ave., is presumed to be the source of the fire. The owners currently reside in Victoria but had begun renovations to the interior of the home.

“The house was down to the wood structure with a timber frame inside,” explained Martin. “That was the reason it burned so fast and nobody noticed until it was completely consumed.”

The heat of the fire was so intense, that the gas meter on house to the left was melted and free flowing gas further fed the flames. “We had electrical wires down which was a safety concern so Fortis was called to shut off the gas and power lines,” said Martin, adding, “it was a chaotic scene up there for quite some time.”

Residents reported being woken by the fire, hearing “popping sounds.” The source of those sounds could have been the three propane cylinders on site, or the numerous camping propane canisters in the house, explained Martin. “Also, when live wires burn off the house and hit the ground they crack and pop very loud so that could have been the noise that so many people heard.”

The middle home was burned to the foundation, and the two adjacent houses were damaged extensively,  rendered uninhabitable and will require demolition.

Selkirk Security is on site to ensure public safety.

“Those folks are there not for the investigation but for safety. We don’t want people going near the structures because they are just not stable,” added Martin.

 

Just Posted

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

SD20 now has an electric bus. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay-Columbia School District 20 adds electric bus to fleet

Bus will be incorporated into Castlegar route for next school year

Painting by Dave Davies from Shaver’s Bench facing Teck Trail.
Happy 120th Birthday to the City of Trail!

The town of Trail Creek- or Trail Creek Landing - was incorporated as a city on June 14, 1901.

Cropped photo: Silver Screen Drive-in will be in the upper parking lot of Waneta Plaza.
Summer drive-in returns to Trail unveiling blockbuster movies

PHOTOS: Scroll to bottom for a trip down memory lane to the Auto Vue Drive-In

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Police cars are seen parked outside Vancouver Police Department headquarters on Saturday, January 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver police officer charged with assault during an arrest in 2019

The service has released no other details about the allegations

Denmark’s Christian Eriksen receives medical attention after collapsing during the Euro 2020 soccer championship group B match between Denmark and Finland at Parken stadium in Copenhagen, Saturday, June 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Christian Eriksen in stable condition, Euro 2020 match resumes

Eriksen was given chest compressions after collapsing on the field during a European Championship

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

As stories of the horrors of residential schools circulate after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc First Nation announced it had located what are believed to be the remains of 215 children, Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs said he feels a connection with the former students. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
2 sides of the same coin: Ex-foster kids identify with residential school survivors

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip says the child welfare system takes Indigenous children from their families

Nathan Watts, a member of the Tseshaht First Nation near Port Alberni, shares his story of substance use, a perspective he said isn’t seen enough. (Photo courtesy of Nathan Watts)
Public shaming, hate perpetuates further substance use: UVic researcher

Longtime addict Nathan Watts offers a user’s perspective on substance use

Most Read