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Fire chief: Princeton BC Housing fire was human-caused

‘It could have been something like someone smoking, something along those lines’
This fire caused about $30,000 damage. (File photo)

A fire that severely damaged a BC Housing residence at Aspen Court in Princeton earlier this month was human-caused, according to Princeton Volunteer Fire Chief Rob Banks.

“It could have been something like someone smoking, something along those lines,” he said in an interview with the Spotlight.

Banks stressed there was nothing building-related that contributed to the blaze.

“All the wiring was in pristine shape,” he said.

“Initially our job is to put the fire out. We try to preserve evidence, and it makes it easier to go back and look.”

The blaze sparked Jan. 2 at about 1:30 p.m. and residents were home at the time.

One man was treated for smoke inhalation but refused to be transported to hospital.

Becky Vermette, executive director of Princeton and District Community Services Society which manages the building, said the fire caused approximately $30,000 damage.

Aspen Court is comprised of 15 three-bedroom affordable housing units.

“We were extremely impressed with the quick action of the fire department which prevented the fire from spreading to neighboring units. We were also happy to hear from the fire department that construction of the units controlled and limited the fire from spreading,” Vermette told the Spotlight.

Two days following the fire, a break-in occurred at the burned home.

“The temporary loss of another affordable housing unit for Princeton is a big hit which was exacerbated by a break-in in the neighboring unit where someone broke through the wall to access a bedroom in the fire damaged unit causing us to temporarily lose another affordable home. This damage will be remediated in conjunction with the fire damaged unit. We are hopeful work will be completed quickly so these units are again available for the many families in need of housing right now.”

Related:Resident escapes fire that severely damages Princeton home

Related: Elderly man dies in Penticton apartment fire

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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