Six turkeys, 20 chicks perish in West Kelowna fire

West Kelowna Fire Rescue was called out to Griffiths Place just after 3 a.m. Monday. When they arrived, they discovered an outbuilding fully engulfed in flames. Global News/File

Six turkeys and 20 chicks perished in an early morning fire on Monday in West Kelowna.

An outbuilding in the West Kelowna Estates neighbourhood was destroyed by the fire, which as now been deemed accidental.

Crews from West Kelowna Fire Rescue responded to a report of trees on fire just after 3 a.m.

READ MORE: COVID-19 pandemic adds risk to B.C. wildfire season, says forests minister

When firefighters arrived at the fire scene on Griffiths Place, they discovered an outbuilding fully engulfed in flames.

Fire chief Jason Brolund said the flames were about to spread to nearby trees.

Fortunately, the dozen firefighters, who attended the scene, managed to douse the fire quickly before it was able to spread further.

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Brolund said the outbuilding was being used to raise turkeys.

Investigators have determined a heat lamp, that was in use, ignited wood materials on the floor of the building, which led to the fire.

READ MORE: Lucky seven: Ducklings rescued from storm drain by Kelowna Fire Department

The public is being reminded to exercise extreme caution with all sources of heat, particularly those that are left unattended.

Brolund said these types of heaters should be secured to a solid surface and kept away from things that can burn, high traffic areas, and doorways.

They should also be checked on a regular basis.

West Kelowna Fire Rescue is also reminding the public to review FireSmart principles ahead of forest fire season.

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Brolund said West Kelowna Estates is an example of a wildland-urban interface zone, where homes are closely spaced, many with combustible roofing and siding materials.

He also said trees are nestled close to buildings.

The City of West Kelowna and Westbank First Nation are now offering $500 grants to residents who undertake FireSmart projects to protect their homes.

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