Man who died in Okanagan Falls mobile home fire identified
UPDATE: The local fire department has identified the victim as long time Okanagan Falls resident Wayne Rundle who is a retired sawmill worker.
A man perished in a fire that quickly consumed his mobile home in the south Okanagan community of Okanagan Falls Thursday afternoon.
“I can’t believe how quick it went up,” neighbour Sue Cridland said. “It was incredible. It was just instant.”
OK Falls Fire Captain Peter Maliepaard confirms the occupant of the mobile home died in the blaze.
“When we first came on the scene the whole side of this trailer was on fire,” Maliepaard said. “The deck roof had already dropped down. We actioned the fire and knocked the fire down quickly.”
The mobile home in Peach Cliff Estates at 4505 McLean Creek Road was home to a man and woman. Cridland said the woman was not at home.
“I was concerned he would not get out of the house,” Cridland said, adding neighbours tried to knock on windows to get the man’s attention as the fire began to consume the home.
Cridland first saw the flames around 4 p.m.
“I seen a bright light in my living room which faces the house beside me there,” she told Global News. “I looked out and I saw a flame about four or five feet tall and then I heard a huge explosion and next thing I looked the whole deck was engulfed in flames and it went up in a matter of seconds.”
Maliepaard said the fire started on the deck.
“That’s all we can confirm right now,” he told Global News.
A barbecue was on the deck with lounge chairs, according to Cridland, and “they never smoked inside, just outside.”
Cridland quickly left her home with her dogs after the fire began and took shelter at a neighbours as they waited for the fire department.
The siding on Cridland’s house facing the flames was melted and the windows cracked from the heat.
OK Falls volunteer firefighters were supported by a crew from the Kaleden Fire Department.
“My neighbors like we all know each other on this particular street,” Cridland said. “I know my neighbors are pretty, pretty devastated about this but you know, a house is one thing you can always replace. But you can’t replace a family member.”
The identity of the man who died has not been released.
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